Knowing and Believing Things : What DP-Complementation Can Tell us about the Meaning and Composition of (Factive) Attitudes

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2024
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Journal of Semantics. Oxford University Press (OUP). 2024, 40(2-3), pp. 179-233. ISSN 0167-5133. eISSN 1477-4593. Available under: doi: 10.1093/jos/ffac015
Zusammenfassung

Abstract In the Hintikkan tradition, attitude verbs are viewed as relations between individuals and propositions. Previous work on know and believe with Content DPs like the rumour has tended to treat know CP vs. know DP as polysemy. In this paper, I show that polysemy runs into conceptual and empirical problems, and propose instead a new decompositional approach to know-verbs, which avoids polysemy; linking both know DP and know CP to the same lexical root, which describes, broadly speaking, acquaintance. This analysis thus provides an explicit and compositional morpho-semantic link between know DP and know CP that accounts for the interpretation of DPs as objects of acquaintance, and further captures the idea that knowledge, and factivity more broadly, is tied to acquaintance with a situation, the res ( Kratzer 2002, a.o.). Based on detailed examination of the morpho-syntax and interpretation of DP and CP complements of believe, I further show that DPs can either combine with believe in the same fashion as CPs, as a direct object (saturating a propositional argument slot, as in Uegaki 2016), or as an indirect object, via a type of attitudinal applicative (proposed here). The former option is defined for Content DPs and the latter for agentive DPs, so-called Source DPs. Together, these proposals account for the observation that the interpretation of believe DP sentences varies depending on the type of DP (believe the rumour vs. believe the referee), whereas for know-verbs, both types of DPs are interpreted as objects of acquaintance. At the core of the current proposal is the idea that verbs like know and believe differ fundamentally at the level of argument structure and internal morpho-semantic composition, and thus combine with DPs via different routes; contrary to uniform approaches to know and believe. Whereas believe-verbs describe relations to intensional content, and require external licensing mechanisms to combine with DPs, know-verbs describe complex relations, fundamentally anchored in the attitude holder’s acquaintance with (abstract or concrete) individuals in the world, and thus make reference to individuals as part of their argument structure. The current proposal also builds on and adds to previous insights about connections between factivity, DP-complementation, and question-embedding.

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ISO 690DJÄRV, Kajsa, 2024. Knowing and Believing Things : What DP-Complementation Can Tell us about the Meaning and Composition of (Factive) Attitudes. In: Journal of Semantics. Oxford University Press (OUP). 2024, 40(2-3), pp. 179-233. ISSN 0167-5133. eISSN 1477-4593. Available under: doi: 10.1093/jos/ffac015
BibTex
@article{Djarv2024-04-30Knowi-59333,
  year={2024},
  doi={10.1093/jos/ffac015},
  title={Knowing and Believing Things : What DP-Complementation Can Tell us about the Meaning and Composition of (Factive) Attitudes},
  number={2-3},
  volume={40},
  issn={0167-5133},
  journal={Journal of Semantics},
  pages={179--233},
  author={Djärv, Kajsa}
}
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