ABSTRACT. This paper examines the claim that English is committed to the existence of locations in the light of recent work in linguistics by Susan Rothstein. It clarifies that claim, presents Rothstein’s discovery, and then argues that her work is more significant for the present issue than related work in logic by David Kaplan. Some might be tempted to draw the conclusion (à la McKinsey) that the existence of locations is analytic, whilst others might conclude only that English encodes a (possibly false) theory according to which locations exist. I suggest a different approach: whether or not locations exist, English contains expressions whose job it is to refer to locations, just as it contains expressions whose job it is to refer to objects. (pp. 194–205)

Keywords: language, location, presupposition, English, expression, object


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Washington University-St Louis


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