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The Quandary about xorlo


I can't really afford the time for this, so may have to
withdraw from the discussion soon.

pc:
> --- And Rosta wrote:
> > "I went to the bathroom/doctor" is true if
> > there
> > is a bathroom/doctor that I went to. So why
> > does
> > English say "the"? It is not referentially
> > specific
>
> But of course it is: the one I went to is quite
> specific and is the one being referred to in this
> case. To be sure, who it is may not be
> important, etc., but it is still there.

No, specificity affects truthconditions, because
reference must be fixed before truthconditions
apply. But the 'reference' of "the doctor" is
irrelevant here; so long as I went to a doctor,
"I went to the doctor" is true, and not contingent
on which doctor "the doctor" refers to.

> > and nor is there *literally* even only one
> > individual
> > that could satisfy the description (cf. "the
> > priest
> > that christened me" — "the" because only one
> > priest
> > christened me).
>
> Yes, I might have gone to another doctor just as
> effectively, but I did go to this one.

That's a fact about the world, not about the meaning
of the sentence.

> Now, "I
> will go to the doctor" is another matter.
>
> English says "the" because the
> > referent is the generic bathroom/doctor, of
> > which
> > there is, intrinsically, only one.
>
> What the Hell is a generic doctor? I certainly
> didn't go to one (unless you mean a GP or "Family
> Practitioner"); I went to a very specific one.
> Which is a good thing, because specific ones are
> all there are.

That's a matter of ontological opinion, not of fact.

Suppose I can perceive the generic doctor and you
can't. If {lo mikce} is the generic doctor, then
I can understand what it means and you can't. Is
that so different from, say, how the words "red"
and "green" are to a colourblind person, or "shrill"
to someone deaf from birth?

> Getting a coherent notion of what the mumbo-jumbo
> is about would help. As far as I can tell, there
> is nothing in Linguistics that covers this issue
> in a relevant way.

I remember having had this discussion before, so
won't repeat it now.

> > > And, insofar as I can get clear
> > > statements of what happens, the Dr. Dr.
> > reading
> > > simply will not help: I don't need Dr. Dr.
> > but a
> > > real doctor and Dr. Dr. is not even a doctor,
> > let
> > > alone the one I need
> >
> > Dr Dr is a real doctor and is the one that is
> > needed.
>
> Not so on the first point (since there is no
> particular doctor I need and, if Dr. Dr. is a
> doctor he is a particular one).

Dr Dr is all doctors.

> > > > 2. The claim is not that {lo broda} can
> > *mean*
> > > > whatever
> > > > the speaker wants it to, but rather that it
> > can
> > > > (because
> > > > of its genericity) *refer* to whatever
> > whatever
> > > > broda
> > > > the speaker wants it to. Consider English
> > mass
> > > > nouns
> > > > like "water" or "gold" — any bit of gold
> > can
> > > > be
> > > > referred to as "gold".
> > >
> > > The analogy escapes me. Referring to a
> > single
> > > object as "gold" is to identify it by its
> > > substance, not to identify it as that
> > substance
> > > tout court.
> >
> > The truthconditions of "I found gold in my
> > garden"
> > are such that if I found any bit of gold then
> > it
> > is true.
>
> Yes. And so?

Mr Broda works like an English mass noun in this
respect (-- indeed, I believe names are mass nouns).
The point was that when you consider the normal
behaviour of English mass nouns, the behaviour
of Mr Broda seems less odd.

--And.
>

 


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