Indexicals as Weak Descriptors
Indexicals have a couple of uses that are in conflict with the traditional view that they directly refer to indices in the utterance situation. But how do they refer instead? It is argued that indexical have both an indexical and a descriptive aspect — what is called weak descriptors. The indexical aspect anchors them in the actual situation of utterance, the weak descriptive aspect singles out the referent. Descriptive uses of “today” are then attributed to calendric coercion which is triggered by qunatificational elements. This account provides a grammatically motivated formal link to descriptive uses. With regard to some uses of “I”, a tentative contiguity rule is proposed as the reference rule for the first person pronoun, which is oriented along recent hearer-oriented accounts in philosophy.