Journal of Semantics 9 (4):333-377 (1992)

The present paper presents an anaphoric account of presupposition. It is argued that presuppositional expressions should not be seen as referring expressions, nor is presupposition to be explicated in terms of some non-standard logic. The notion of presupposition should not be relegated to a pragmatic theory either. Instead presuppositional expressions are claimed to be anaphoric expressions which have internal structure and semantic content. In fact they only differ from pronouns and other semantically less loaded anaphors in that they have more descriptive content. It is this fact which enables them to create an antecedent in case discourse does not provide one. If their capacity to accommodate is taken into account they can be treated by basically the same mechanism which handles the resolution of pronouns. The theory is elaborated in the framework of discourse representation theory. It is shown that pragmatic factors interfere in the resolution of presuppositional anaphors. The resulting account can neither be classified as wholly semantic nor wholly pragmatic. Section 1 presents a survey of standing problems in the theory of presupposition projection and discusses the major competing approaches. An argumentation for a purely anaphoric account of presupposition is given in section 2. Section 3 presents a coding of presuppositional expressions in an extension of discourse representation theory. The final section is devoted to a discussion of the constraints which govern the resolution of presuppositional anaphors
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/jos/9.4.333
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,231
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Pragmatics.Robert C. Stalnaker - 1970 - Synthese 22 (1-2):272--289.
Presuppositions.Robert Stalnaker - 1973 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 2 (4):447 - 457.
Descriptions.S. Neale - 1996 - Critica 28 (83):97-129.
Descriptions.D. E. Over - 1993 - Philosophical Quarterly 43 (172):392-394.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Bounded Modality.Matthew Mandelkern - 2019 - Philosophical Review 128 (1):1-61.
Type-Ambiguous Names.Anders J. Schoubye - 2017 - Mind 126 (503):715-767.
Attributing Error Without Taking a Stand.Caleb Perl & Mark Schroeder - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (6):1453-1471.
Good News About the Description Theory of Names.Bart Geurts - 1997 - Journal of Semantics 14 (4):319-348.

View all 179 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Anaphoric Presuppositions and Zero Anaphora.Kjell Johan Saeboe - 1996 - Linguistics and Philosophy 19 (2):187 - 209.
Proper Names and Indexicals Trigger Rigid Presuppositions.Emar Maier - 2009 - Journal of Semantics 26 (3):253-315.


Added to PP index

Total views
149 ( #79,594 of 2,518,215 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #408,577 of 2,518,215 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes