Indirectness and Intentions in Metasemantics

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


This paper argues in favor of an indirect metasemantics for the standard for gradable adjectives. Specifically, it argues that multiple factors work to fix this parameter’s value, and it is a further matter of context just how those multiple factors combine in any given case. The paper then asks how much an indirect metasemantics must depart from an intention-based metasemantics. The indirect metasemantics presented gives speakers’ intentions a limited role, but more fully intention-based but indirect metasemantics are possible. The paper goes on to argue in favor of a less intentional metasemantics, via observation of the role of non-intentional aspects of cognition in fixing standards for gradable adjectives. The paper ends by considering implications of such a view for the nature of communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStudies in Linguistics and Philosophy
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages25
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameStudies in Linguistics and Philosophy
ISSN (Print)0924-4662
ISSN (Electronic)2215-034X

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Philosophy


  • Cognition
  • Gradable adjectives
  • Intentions
  • Metasemantics


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