LING 201: Introduction to Linguistics
11th Conference: Semantics 2 – Solution
I. Entailment and Presupposition
Use your judgments on projection from under negation (or the judgments of an
informant) to decide whether the implication from (a) to (b) in the pairs of examples
below is an
entailment
or a
presupposition
.
Example 1
:
(a)
It was John who broke the type writer
(b)
Someone broke the type writer
(a) implies (b)
(c), the negation of (a), also implies
(b).
Therefore, the implication from (a) to (b) is a presupposition
.
(c)
It wasn’t John who broke the type writer
Example 2
:
(a)
John broke the type writer
(b)
Someone broke the type writer
(a) implies (b)
(c), the negation of (a), does not imply
(b).
Therefore, the implication from (a) to (b) is an entailment
.
(c)
John didn’t break the type writer
(1)
(a)
Dave is angry about Jim’s stupid mistake.
(b)
Jim made a stupid mistake.
(a) implies (b)
(c), the negation of (a), also implies
(b).
Therefore, the implication from (a) to (b) is a presupposition
.
(c)
Dave isn’t angry about Jim’s stupid mistake.
(2)
(a)
Zaire and Alaska have the same size.
(b)
Zaire is as big as Alaska.
(a) implies (b)
(c), the negation of (a), does not imply
(b).
Therefore, the implication from (a) to (b) is an entailment
.
(c)
Zaire and Alaska don’t have the same size.
(3)
(a)
The minister blames her secretary for leaking the memo to the press.
(b)
The memo was leaked to the press.
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View Full Document(a) implies (b)
(c), the negation of (a), also implies
(b).
Therefore, the implication from (a) to (b) is a presupposition
.
(c)
The minister doesn’t blame her secretary for leaking the memo to the
press.
(4)
(a)
I liked exactly two movies from Spain.
(b)
I liked more than one movie from Spain.
(a) implies (b)
(c), the negation of (a), does not imply
(b).
Therefore, the implication from (a) to (b) is an entailment
.
(c)
I didn’t like exactly two movies from Spain.
Note
: If your judgments concerning some of the (c) sentences are different, you will
have drawn different conclusion as to the type of implication. In the exam, the
assumed judgment will always be provided.
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 Fall '10
 TanyaSlavin
 Implicature, Presupposition, entailment, Typewriter, a. b. c.

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