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date: 16 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article makes a number of points about reference, both speaker reference and linguistic (or semantic) reference. The bottom line is simple: reference ain't easy — at least not nearly as easy as commonly supposed. Much of what speakers do that passes for reference is really something else, and much of what passes for linguistic reference is really nothing more than speaker reference. Referring is one of the basic things we do with words, and it would be a good idea to understand what that involves and requires before worrying about the linguistic means by which this is done.

Keywords: reference, semantic reference, speaker reference, linguistic means, linguistic reference, singular terms

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