In Suzi Lima (ed.), Proceedings of SULA 5: Semantics of Under-Represented Languages in the Americas (2009). GLSA Publications. pp. 139--155 (2010)

Sarah E. Murray
Cornell University
On one view, the point of an assertion is to update the common ground (Stalnaker 1978, Karttunen 1974). On another, the point of an assertion is to propose an update to the com- mon ground (Groenendijk 2009, Mascarenhas 2009, and related work on the structure of discourse, e.g., Ginzburg 1996, Roberts 1996, Gunlogson 2001). In Murray (to appear), I merge these two views. I argue based on evidence from declarative sentences with eviden- tials that assertion has two components: what is at-issue and what is not. The not-at-issue component of assertion is added directly to the common ground while the at-issue compo- nent is proposed to be added to the common ground. Here, I extend this analysis to yes/no questions in Cheyenne and their interaction with evidentials. I propose that the distinction between what is at-issue and what is not is also present in questions, and that it can be modeled in the same way. Specifically, both declarative and interrogative sentences make two contributions: they restrict and structure the common ground. The restriction is based on the not-at-issue component while the structuring relation is based on the at-issue component.
Keywords Evidentiality   Questions   Update   Cheyenne   Illocutionary Mood
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References found in this work BETA

Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1973 - Foundations of Language 13 (1):145-151.
Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1973 - Philosophy of Science 42 (3):341-344.
Assertion.Robert C. Stalnaker - 1978 - In Maite Ezcurdia & Robert J. Stainton (eds.), The Semantics-Pragmatics Boundary in Philosophy. Broadview Press. pp. 179.
Common Ground.Robert C. Stalnaker - 2002 - Linguistics and Philosophy 25 (5-6):701-721.

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Citations of this work BETA

A Preference Semantics for Imperatives.William B. Starr - 2020 - Semantics and Pragmatics 20.
Evidentiality and the Structure of Speech Acts.Sarah E. Murray - 2010 - Dissertation, Rutgers University
A Hamblin Semantics for Evidentials.Sarah E. Murray - 2011 - In Ed Cormany, Satoshi Ito & David Lutz (eds.), Proceedings From Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) XIX (2009). CLC Publications. pp. 324--341.

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