On the semantics and pragmatics of epistemic vocabulary

Sarah Moss


This paper motivates and develops a novel semantics for several epistemic expressions, including possibility and necessity modals and indicative conditionals. The semantics I defend constitutes an alternative to standard truth conditional theories, as it assigns sets of probability measures rather than sets of worlds as sentential semantic values. I argue that what my theory lacks in conservatism, it makes up for in strength — namely, the theory accounts for a host of distinctive and suggestive linguistic data collected and explored in this paper.


BibTeX info


epistemic modals; indicative conditionals; dynamic semantics; modus ponens; constructive dilemma; context sensitivity; assertion; logical constants

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3765/sp.8.5

License URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

ISSN: 1937-8912

Journal doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.3765/sp