Presupposed ignorance and exhaustification: How presuppositions and scalar implicatures interact

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14:00 to 15:00
Jordanstown campus

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Lingusitics Research Seminar Series
Presupposed ignorance and exhuastification: how presuppositions and scalar implicatures interact
Dr Yasutada Sudo, University College London

We investigate interactions between scalar inferences and presuppositions. There are two major observations to be accounted for (i)Scalar items in certain environments (namely so called Strawson decreasing environments) seem to have scalar inferences only in the presuppositions, as observed previously by Gajewski and Sharvit (2011); (ii) Scalar items that generate ignorance inferences give rise to what we call presupposed ignorance inferences in presuppositional contexts. To give a uniform account of these observations, we postulate the "Presupposed Ignorance Principle". However this alone makes wrong predictions for certain other environments. In order to circumvent this problem we postulate a scalar strengthening mechanism responsible for scalar implicatures.

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