Painting cows from a type-logical perspective

  • Sebastian Bücking


Depiction verbs such as paint license i(mage)- and p(ortrait)-readings; for instance, Ben painted a cow can convey that Ben produced an image of an unspecific cow or a portrait of a specific cow. This paper takes issue with a property-based intensional analysis of depiction verbs (Zimmermann, 2006b, 2016) and instead argues for an extensional account. Accordingly, the i-reading is rooted in the introduction of worldly representations by the explicit noun cow as such, whereas the p-reading is rooted in the interpolation of an implicit representation via coercion. This take on the ambiguity captures the following key traits. On i-readings, only representations are accessible to quantifiers and anaphors; moreover, intensional effects such as substitution failure disappear once ordinary objects and representations are adequately distinguished. P-readings, by contrast, involve representations that depend on the portrayed ordinary objects as particulars; correspondingly, only ordinary objects are accessible to quantifiers and anaphors. The proposal is spelled out in Asher’s (2011) Type Composition Logic.
How to Cite
Bücking, S. (2019). Painting cows from a type-logical perspective. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 22(1), 277-294. Retrieved from