Biscuit conditionals: Quantification over potential literal acts [Book Review]

Linguistics and Philosophy 29 (2):167 - 203 (2006)
Abstract
In biscuit conditionals (BCs) such as If you’re hungry, there’s pizza in the fridge, the if clause appears to apply to the illocutionary act performed in uttering the main clause, rather than to its propositional content. Accordingly, previous analyses of BCs have focused on illocutionary acts, and, this, I argue, leads them to yield incorrect paraphrases. I propose, instead, that BCs involve existential quantification over potential literal acts such as assertions, questions, commands, and exclamations, the semantic objects associated with declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamative sentences, respectively. Such an existential interpretation of BCs requires only that we add potential literal acts to our inventory of individuals, and it produces reasonable paraphrases in which if has its normal meaning: If you’re hungry,[there’s a (relevant/salient) assertion that] there’s pizza in the fridge. These potential literal act variables are introduced into semantic interpretations and then undergo Existential Closure. Hence, we would expect to see similar interpretations in contexts other than BCs, that is, with other if constructions, with connectives other than if, with potential literal acts other than assertion, and in root sentences. This prediction is borne out, along with the parallel prediction that we cannot quantify over purely illocutionary acts like offers, but only over potential literal acts, those conventionally associated with a particular morphosyntactic shape.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA
    Similar books and articles
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2009-01-28

    Total downloads

    13 ( #100,556 of 1,088,810 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,666 of 1,088,810 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


    Discussion
    Start a new thread
    Order:
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.