Unarticulated Constituents and Propositional Structure


  • I owe much gratitude to Martín Ahualli, Pranav Anand, Wylie Breckenridge, Herman Cappelen, Sam Cumming, Greg D’Amico Michael Glanzberg, Benj Helle, Robbie Hirsch, Carrie Jenkins, Lana Ježić, David Kaplan, Bernard Katz, Jeff King, John Hawthorne, Justina Díaz Legaspe, Ernie Lepore, Robert May, John MacFarlane, Angela Mendelovici, Stephen Neale, Daniel Nolan, François Recanati, Jessica Rhett, Jason Stanley, Jonathan Weisberg, Jessica Wilson, Seth Yelsin, Elia Zardini, audiences at GAF and Charles Sturt University, Arché, the University of Toronto Metaphysics and Epistemology group, UCLA, UC Berkeley and two anonymous Mind & Language referees.

Department of Philosophy, UC Davis, 1240 Social Sciences and Humanities, University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


Attempts to characterize unarticulated constituents (henceforth: UCs) by means of quantification over the parts of a sentence and the constituents of the proposition it expresses come to grief in more complicated cases than are commonly considered. In particular, UC definitions are inadequate when we consider cases in which the same constituent appears more than once in a proposition that only has one word with the constituent as its semantic value. This article explores some consequences of trying to repair the formal definitions.