Towards a semantics for biscuit conditionals

Philosophical Studies 142 (3):293 - 305 (2009)
This essay proposes a semantic analysis of biscuit-conditionals, such as Austin’s classic example “there are biscuits in the cupboard if you want some”. The analysis is grounded on the ideas of contextual restrictions, and of non-character encoded aspects of meaning, and provides a rigorous framework for the widespread intuitions that (i) the if-clause in a biscuit-conditional is truth-conditionally idle, but (ii) it ‘qualifies’ the speech-act in question. In the concluding section of this essay, the analysis is also applied to the importantly similar phenomenon of speech-act adverbs.
Keywords Biscuit conditionals  Semantics  Indexicals
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    Kent Bach (1999). The Myth of Conventional Implicature. Linguistics and Philosophy 22 (4):327-366.

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