Article details

Research area
Natural language & AI

UCLA Papers in Syntax #5



The pragmatics of presupposition


This paper compares the two main proposals for describing presuppositions, the logical notion which takes presupposition to be a (logical) relation between two sentences, and the pragmatic notion which incorporates the beliefs of the speaker and aspects of the context of the speech act into the set of things presupposed by a sentence. The phenomena which might be included in pragmatic presupposition and not in logical presupposition are grouped into several categories. Various definitions of pragmatic presupposition are discussed in relation to these categories. The philosophical viewpoints underlying the logical and pragmatic definitions are identified, and their implications for semantics are analyzed.

Read/download now