Presuppositions of Compound Sentences

Presuppositions of Compound Sentences - 168 MICHAEL K BRAME...

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Brame 3114 N.E. 82 Seattle, Washington 98115 Bordelois MIT 20C- 1 3 2 Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139 -- .... ::A/ Linguistic Inquiry Volume IV Number 2 (Spring, 1973), 16!)-193. Presuppositions of Compound Sentences* of the bumper crop of papers on presuppositions in recent books and .~ presupposition itself still remains a very unclear concept." There are two pes of definitions for this mysterious term: for some scholars, such as the Bas Van Fraassen (1968, 1969, 197 I), presupposition is a semantic notion, in terms of truth and consequence. According to Van Fraassen, sentence A ally presupposes another sentence B, just in case B is true whenever A is e or false. In other words, the truth of B is a condition for the bivalence of A. upposes Band B is false, then A is neither true nor false: it is without truth has some third indeterminate truth value. In this sense, presupposition is a c relation between two sentences; it does not directly involve the speaker or ncr or the context in which the sentence is uttered. People. don't presuppose g, only sentences do. e other concept of presupposition, discussed recently by Edward L. Keenan and Robert C. Stalnaker (1970) is a pragmatic notion and involves both the and the listener. According to the pragmatic conception, the speaker, rather e sentence he utters, has presuppositions. To presuppose something as a is to take its truth for granted and to assume that the audience does the same. speaking, it would be meaningless to talk about the pragmatic presuppositions ntence. Such locutions are, however, justified in a secondary sense. A phrase e sentence A pragmatically presupposes B" can be understood as an abbrevia- "whenever A is uttered sincerely, the speaker of A presupposes B (i.e. assumes 'he original research for this paper was done in connection with the courses I taught at the University 'nia at Santa Cruz in the Summer of 1971 and at the University of Texas in the Fall of 1971. Some of rial has also been presented in public lectures at the University of Texas, Princeton University, the ~ELS Meeting in Montreal, the University of Helsinki, and Indiana University. An earlier version of r was circulated under the title "Plugs, Filters, and Holes". I am indebted to a great many people who .rd parts of the paper at these various places and shared their ideas with me. In particular, I want to he following persons: Gilbert Harman, Hans Herzberger, Laurence Horn, Frances Karttunen, Asa IJohn Lawler, andJohn Murphy. Special thanks go to George Lakoff, whose unpublished paper (Lakoff [lton 197 1) anticipates some of the work done here. Of course, the responsibility for the possible mistakes alone. This work was supported in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health (Grant NO.5 :)00111) and the National Institute of Mental Health (5 POI MHI3390). See e.g. Fillmore (197 1), Garner (1971), Heringer (1972), Horn (1969 and 1972), Hutchinson (197 1), nen (197 Ib), Kee~an (197 1 and 1972), Lakoff (1970), Langendoen and Savin (1971), Morgan (19 69), ker (197 0), Thomason (1972), Van Fraassen (1968, 1969, and 1971), and Zuber (197 2).
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