Introduction to Pragmatics: Homework 4

You will submit your answers through an online form for this assignment, as usual.

This assignment is about what linguists call "deixis" and what philosophers call "indexicality". It is also about two notions of context, "context of utterance" and the "context set". The assignment has three parts:

Deixis/indexicality has to do with the context of utterance -- deictic/indexical expressions depend on the context of utterance for their meaning. The notion of "context" that is involved in deixis/indexicality should be distinguished from another notion of context, which is connected to presupposition, namely context set. This notion comes from Robert Stalnaker's paper Assertion, a classic but difficult paper. In handout from lecture 7, I have quoted the relevant passages from Assertion. Here is a PDF of the questions that you will be asked on this part, which you can use to prepare your answers before going to the online form:

For a linguist's perspective on deixis/indexicality, you will read and answer questions this lecture on deixis by Charles Fillmore. Here is a PDF of the questions on this part:

For a philosopher's perspective, you will answer questions on David Kaplan's Demonstratives. Because this is a long and difficult paper, you will not be required to read it, although you are more than welcome to do so. In the lecture, I will highlight some of Kaplan's most important points, and you should be able to answer the questions based on the lecture. So make sure to come to class on this day! Here is a PDF of the questions for this part:

As stated above, you will submit your answers through an online form:

It is due before class on the day that we begin the unit on conventional implicatures (June 11th for the Monday class, June 13th for the Wednesday class).

Email Liz ( or the TAs (,, if you have any questions.