Features of referential pronouns and indexical presuppositions

Abstract

ABSTRACT This paper demonstrates that the presuppositions triggered by the 1st and 2nd persons behave differently in important ways from those triggered by the 3rd person and the genders. While the 1st and 2nd persons trigger indexical presuppositions, the 3rd person and the genders do not. I show that the presuppositions triggered by the 1st and 2nd persons are not susceptible to presupposition failure of the kind familiar from ordinary presuppositions. Such failures occur for the 3rd person and the genders. Moreover, the presuppositions triggered by the 1st and 2nd persons do not exhibit the projection behavior of ordinary presuppositions. The 3rd person and the genders do. I sketch a semantics in which the relevant difference is between presuppositions that impose constraints on functions from contexts to intensions and presuppositions that impose constraints on intensions.

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Andreas Stokke
Uppsala University

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