Mr Nathan Duckett

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Research interests

Current research

Funded by the Arts Humanities Research Council, the goal of my research is to advocate a certain view about expressions in English such as 'Allegedly', 'Apparently', 'Word is',  and 'They Say'. According to the view I outline, these expressions are quantificational devices - what they quantify over, on the other hand, are propositions. The result should be an account of the way we use such expressions in ordinary English that is, able to account for the logical behaviour of these expressions, but also able to tell a story about some seemingly less formal puzzles involved: Why are these expressions so widely used in the media? Can we use 'Allegedly' to report things that people used to say about the world, but don't now? Can we use 'Allegedly' to cite ourselves?...

One reason why these expressions are interesting has to do with their relationship to other expressions. The obvious connection is with quotation but I claim there is also a connection with verbs of propositional attitude like 'Believes'. A further issue, I argue, is that the analysis of 'Allegedly' and similar throws up interesting sidelights on the semantics/pragmatics distinction, and particularly how that distinction is played out in the behaviour of English.


Research and projects

No current projects are available for public display