Natural Language Semantics 20 (4):391-429 (2012)
AbstractRecent semantic research has made increasing use of a principle, Maximize Presupposition, which requires that under certain circumstances the strongest possible presupposition be marked. This principle is generally taken to be irreducible to standard Gricean reasoning because the forms that are in competition have the same assertive content. We suggest, however, that Maximize Presupposition might be reducible to the theory of scalar implicatures. (i)First, we consider a special case: the speaker utters a sentence with a presupposition p which is not initially taken for granted by the addressee, but the latter takes the speaker to be an authority on the matter. Signaling the presupposition provides new information to the addressee; but it also follows from the logic of presupposition qua common belief that the presupposition is thereby satisfied (Stalnaker, Ling Philos 25(5–6):701–721, 2002). (ii) Second, we generalize this solution to other cases. We assume that even when p is common belief, there is a very small chance that the addressee might forget it (‘Fallibility’); in such cases, marking a presupposition will turn out to generate new information by re-establishing part of the original context. We also adopt from Raj Singh (Nat Lang Semantics 19(2):149–168, 2011) the hypothesis that presupposition maximization is computed relative to local contexts—and we assume that these too are subject to Fallibility; this accounts for cases in which the information that justifies the presupposition is linguistically provided. (iii) Finally, we suggest that our assumptions have benefits in the domain of implicatures: they make it possible to reinterpret Magri’s ‘blind’ (i.e. context-insensitive) implicatures as context-sensitive implicatures which just happen to be misleading
Similar books and articles
Presupposition and Accommodation: Understanding the Stalnakerian Picture.Mandy Simons - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 112 (3):251 - 278.
Reconstructing and Assessing the Conditions of Meaningfulness. An Argumentative Approach to Presupposition.Fabrizio Macagno - 2012 - In H. Ribeiro (ed.), Inside Arguments: Logic And The Study of Argumentation. Cambridge Scholars Press. pp. 247--268.
Transparency Theory and its Dynamic Alternatives: Commentary on “Be Articulate”.Daniel Rothschild - unknown
The Epistemics of Presupposition Projection.Jan van Eijck & Christina Unger - 2007 - In Dekker Aloni (ed.), Proceedings of the Sixteenth Amsterdam Colloquium. pp. 235-240.
Negation, `Presupposition' and the Semantics/ Pragmatics Distinction.Robyn Carston - 1998 - Journal of Linguistics 34:309-350.
Incremental Vs. Symmetric Accounts of Presupposition Projection: An Experimental Approach.Emmanuel Chemla & Philippe Schlenker - 2012 - Natural Language Semantics 20 (2):177-226.
Presupposition Accommodation in Local Contexts: Why Global Accommodation is Not Enough.Hazel Pearson - unknown
Presuppositions and Anaphors in Attitude Contexts.Bart Geurts - 1998 - Linguistics and Philosophy 21 (6):545-601.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
Citations of this work
A Theory of Individual-Level Predicates Based on Blind Mandatory Scalar Implicatures.Giorgio Magri - 2009 - Natural Language Semantics 17 (3):245-297.
Demonstratives, Definite Descriptions and Non-Redundancy.Kyle Hammet Blumberg - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (1):39-64.
Presupposed free choice and the theory of scalar implicatures.Paul Marty & Jacopo Romoli - 2022 - Linguistics and Philosophy 45 (1):91-152.
Presupposed Ignorance and Exhaustification: How Scalar Implicatures and Presuppositions Interact.Benjamin Spector & Yasutada Sudo - 2017 - Linguistics and Philosophy 40 (5):473-517.
References found in this work
Reasoning About Knowledge.Ronald Fagin, Joseph Y. Halpern, Yoram Moses & Moshe Vardi - 1995 - MIT Press.