Journal of Semantics 16 (1):43-65 (1999)
It is widely assumed that focusing a phrase indicates that alternatives to the phrase are considered. The question is, how are alternatives to a given phrase determined? There are a number of proposed answers to this question (Rooth 1985, 1992; von Stechow 1989; Jacobs 1983, among others). These accounts, however, typically deal only with logically simple phrases; when more complex phrases are considered, they turn out to be inadequate. Current theories fail to provide a principled relation between the alternatives induced by a complex phrase and those induced by its component parts; moreover, they predict incorrect truth conditions in some cases. The heart of the problem with these accounts lies in the assumption that the same combinatory rules used in determining the meanings of expressions also apply in determining the alternatives induced by them. Instead, I argue that alternatives are induced by presupposition, and that focus induces alternatives only to the extent that it gives rise to presuppositions. The problem of determining the alternatives is thereby reduced to the problem of determining presupposition in context: the rules for computing alternatives are the same rules that govern the derivation of presupposition. These rules are different from the combinatory rules used to compute the ordinary meaning and thus avoid the problems which plague previous approaches
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Extensionality in Natural Language Quantification: The Case of Many and Few.Kristen A. Greer - 2014 - Linguistics and Philosophy 37 (4):315-351.
Making Progressives: Necessary Conditions Are Sufficient.Károly Varasdi - 2014 - Journal of Semantics 31 (2):fft004.
Similar books and articles
Some Restrictions on Simple Fixed Points of the Integers.G. L. McColm - 1989 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 54 (4):1324-1345.
Darwin's Pangenesis and the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives.P. K. Stanford - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (1):121-144.
The Broad Conception of Computation.Jack Copeland - 1997 - American Behavioral Scientist 40 (6):690-716.
Alternatives to Alternatives: Approaches to Aristotle's Arguments Per Impossibile.Taneli Kukkonen - 2002 - Vivarium 40 (2):137-173.
Francis Galton's Theory of Inheritance and the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives.P. Kyle Stanford - 2006 - Biology and Philosophy 21 (4):523-536.
Alternatives to the Tensed S and Specified Subject Conditions.Michael K. Brame - 1977 - Linguistics and Philosophy 1 (3):381 - 411.
Relevant Alternatives, Contextualism Included.Ernest Sosa - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 119 (1-2):35-65.
On the Surprising Finding That Expected Utility is Literally Computed in the Brain.Jack Vromen - 2010 - Journal of Economic Methodology 17 (1):17-36.
Added to index2010-09-02
Total downloads45 ( #116,131 of 2,171,914 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #326,615 of 2,171,914 )
How can I increase my downloads?