Particles: Presupposition Triggers, Context Markers or Speech Act markers
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In R. Blutner & H. Zeevat (eds.), Optimality Theory and Pragmatics. Palgrave-McMillan. 91-111 (2003)
This paper discusses two possible formal approaches to the semantic/pragmatic characterisation of a subclass of the modal particles. It may well be that the approaches can be applied to other particles or that they can be applied to certain intonational patterns (e.g. contrastive stress), to morphemes (past tense, agreement) or to words (pronouns), constructions (some uses of deﬁnite descriptions, clefts), but I will not try to to show that here. The ﬁrst approach is based on the optimality theoretic reconstruction of Blutner & J¨ ager (2000) of the theory of presupposition that has become fairly standard, the Heim (1983) and van der Sandt (1992) view of presuppositions as anaphora (see Zeevat (1992) for an introduction and comparison). The ﬁrst half of the paper critically reviews my earlier views on the treatment of particles in this setting, the second part introduces a novel view, again based on optimality theory, which takes as a starting point the marking constraints that are a necessary ingredient of my earlier treatment.
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