Volume 5, Issue 1, 2005
An Introduction to the Sernantics of Message and Attachment
In this paper, I discuss the general features of what I call ‘the semantics of message and attachment’. According to this theory, utterances of declarative sentences may be semantically associated with a plurality of information contents. I explain how this suggestion may provide a promising tool for the analysis of a variety of phenomena in the semantics for natural languages, such as complex demonstratives, dangling adverbs, or appositive clauses. I then focus on certain structural aspects of the theory, in particular pertaining to the demands it imposes on the lexicon, and on the role it plays with respect to the truth-conditions for an utterance. In this last respect, I also discuss the logical outcomes of the theory, and I compare what I call a ‘content-containment’ approach to validity with a more traditional, truth-conditional understanding.