1 Department of Design og Kommunikation, Faculty of Humanities, SDU2 -, Department of Design og Kommunikation, Faculty of Humanities, SDU3 Department of Design og Kommunikation, Faculty of Humanities, SDU
Topics in the Semantics of Verbs
Verbs do often take arguments of quite different types. In an orthodox type-theoretic framework this results in an extreme polysemy of many verbs. In this article, it is shown that this unwanted consequence can be avoided when a theory of "abstract objects" is adopted according to which these objects represent non-objectual entities in contexts from which they are excluded by type restrictions. Thus these objects are "abstract'' in a functional rather than in an ontological sense: they function as representatives of other entities but they are otherwise quite normal objects. Three examples of such a representation are considered: the denotations of that-phrases are objects representing propositions, generic noun phrases denote objects standing for sorts, and infinitivals are viewed as denoting objects representing attributes, i.e., the "ordinary'' meanings of verb phrases.
Studies in Language: Topics in the Semantics of Verbs, 2014, p. 115-158