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Impersonally Interpreted Personal Pronouns

dc.contributor.advisorKaufmann, Magdalena Prof. Dr.
dc.contributor.authorZobel, Sarah
dc.titleImpersonally Interpreted Personal Pronounsde
dc.contributor.refereeKaufmann, Magdalena Prof. Dr.
dc.description.abstractengThe central topic of this thesis is the meaning and use of impersonally interpreted personal pronouns. In particular, I focus on the impersonal use of first and second person singular pronouns, in which these expressions are interpreted like dedicated impersonal pronouns. That is, they are used to express rules, norms, regulations, and other generalizations about people in general. This is surprising since first and second person singular pronouns are predominantly used to refer to unique, specific individuals, i.e. the speaker and the addressee, respectively. The main aim of this thesis is, therefore, to examine the semantic and pragmatic aspects connected to the impersonal uses, to give an account of how these uses come to be interpreted like dedicated impersonal pronouns, and to address the connection between the impersonal use and the predominant referential use. Even though the impersonal use of second person singular pronouns is cross-linguistically pervasive, the phenomenon is discussed by using the example of German. German is the ideal object language for this investigation since it provides the full observable paradigm: impersonally used first person singular `ich' (Engl. `I') and second person singular `du' (Engl. `you'), and the dedicated impersonal pronoun `man' (Engl. `one'). However, discussions on impersonally used second person singular pronouns in English, Spanish, and Dutch are drawn on, as well. The structure of the thesis is as follows. In Chapter 1, I provide a detailed discussion of the German data, and dismiss an analysis of the impersonal use that, at first glance, seems to be intuitively appealing. A purely semantic account of the data that aims to capture the semantics of singular personal pronouns in their impersonal and referential use is proposed in Chapter 2. Chapter 3 discusses various aspects of the intensional sentential contexts of impersonally interpreted personal pronouns, and provides a semantic analysis in the framework of possible worlds semantics. And lastly, in Chapter 4, I dismiss the account that was built up from the results of Chapter 2 and 3, and propose a new, pragmatically motivated account for the meaning of impersonal
dc.contributor.coRefereeCondravdi, Cleo Prof.
dc.contributor.thirdRefereeEckardt, Regine Prof. Dr.
dc.subject.engformal semanticsde
dc.subject.engpersonal pronounsde
dc.subject.engpragmatic effectsde
dc.subject.engimpersonal usesde
dc.subject.engnot-at-issue contentde
dc.subject.engpossible worldsde
dc.subject.engdedicated impersonal pronounsde
dc.affiliation.institutePhilosophische Fakultätde
dc.subject.gokfullPhilologien (PPN621711713)de

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