A formal treatment of the pragmatics of questions and attitudes

Linguistics and Philosophy 28 (5):505 - 539 (2005)
Abstract
This article discusses pragmatic aspects of our interpretation of intensional constructions like questions and prepositional attitude reports. In the first part, it argues that our evaluation of these constructions may vary relative to the identification methods operative in the context of use. This insight is then given a precise formalization in a possible world semantics. In the second part, an account of actual evaluations of questions and attitudes is proposed in the framework of bi-directional optimality theory. Pragmatic meaning selections are explained as the result of specific rankings of potentially conflicting generation and interpretation constraints
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