How should we revise the paratactic theory?

Frankish, Keith (1996). How should we revise the paratactic theory? Analysis, 56(4) pp. 251–263.



This paper takes another look at Davidson's paratactic theory of indirect discourse and evaluates some revisions to it, proposed recently by Ian Rumfitt (Mind, 1993). Davidson's original version of the theory – according to which indirect speech reports refer to token utterances – has a problem dealing with ambiguity. Rumfitt suggests that we can solve this problem by supposing that the immediate objects of verbs in indirect speech are token representations of disambiguated LF tree-structures. I argue that this proposal is inadequate and suggest that it is better to think of indirect speech as relating speakers to utterance types.

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