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Abstract

Singular-term semantics has been intractable. Frege took the referents of singular terms to be their semantic values. On his account, vacuous terms lacked values. Russell separated the semantics of definite descriptions from the semantics of proper names, which caused truth-values to be composed in two different ways and still left vacuous names without values. Montague gave all noun phrases sets of verb-phrase extensions for values, which created type mismatches when noun phrases were objects and still left vacuous names without values. There is a single type of value for all noun phrases that dissolves the difficulties which have beset singular-term semantics.