Selection function semantics for will

Fabrizio Cariani, Paolo Santorio*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We develop a new semantics for the English auxiliary will that exploits a Stalnaker-style, single-world selection function. Unlike existing theories, the resulting analysis succeeds in satisfying three desiderata: it accounts for the modal character of will, it predicts its peculiar lack of scope interactions, and it vindicates intuitive judgments about the probabilities of will-claims. We develop a new semantics for the English auxiliary will that exploits selection functions, similarly to Stalnaker's [24] semantics for conditionals. The semantic is motivated by three constraint, which we state in §1. In §2, we show that no existing account satisfies all three constraints. We state our analysis in §3. In §4 and §5, respectively, we show how this analysis accommodates indeterminacy about the future and intuitive judgments about the probability of will-claims. We close, in §6, by discussing the assertability of will-claims.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Event20th Amsterdam Colloquium, AC 2015 - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: Dec 16 2015Dec 18 2015


Conference20th Amsterdam Colloquium, AC 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Software


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