The Real Problem of Bishop Sentences

Author:Hsiang-Yun Chen

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Bishop sentences such as “If a bishop meets a bishop, he blesses him” have long been considered problematic for the descriptivist (or E-type) approach of donkey anaphora (e.g. Evans, 1977; Heim, 1990; and Neale, 1990). Elbourne (2005) offers a situational descriptivist analysis that allegedly solves the problem, and furthermore extends its explanatory coverage to bishop sentence with coordinate subjects. However, I throw serious doubts on Elbourne’s analysis. Specifically, I argue that the purported solution is committed to the use of unbound anaphora, and it cannot sustain the claimed empirical adequacy.04-陳湘韻

Keywords: donkey anaphora、E-type theory、situation semantics