A linguistic account of singular terms





singular terms, definiteness, uniqueness, reference, Vendler


Vendler (1967b) discusses how we may linguistically recognize a singular term. Even though singular terms are relevant to Philosophy and not necessarily to Linguistics, it may be enriching to know what we can do to disambiguate such a term. Philosophically, singular terms are seen as singular definite descriptions which may be used to refer to a unique entity in the world. Vendler tried to provide a syntactic account of singular terms, and was not taken into account by philosophers. Linguistically speaking, a singular term will be a singular definite determiner phrase which may or may not correlate to something. We will show that a strictly syntactic account, as the one Vendler proposed, is deficient, and that it does not provide necessary and sufficient conditions to recognize a singular term. We will take into account Vendler’s spirit. We will use the advances in linguistics to explain how we may form a singular term, and provide syntactic-semantic conditions to recognize a singular term.


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Biografia do Autor

Ana Clara Polakof, Universidad de la República, Uruguay

Adjunct Professor at Instituto de Lingüística at Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias de la Educación (UdelaR), Active researcher at Sistema Nacional de Investigadores (Uruguay). This research was possible thanks to the grant: FCE_3_2018_1_148810.


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Como Citar

Polakof, A. C. (2021). A linguistic account of singular terms. Aufklärung: Revista De Filosofia, 8(esp), p.133–144. https://doi.org/10.18012/arf.v8iesp.60029