Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

Talk at Bogazici, Jonathan Cohen (UCSD), “On the Presuppositional Behavior of Coherence-Driven Pragmatic Enrichments”

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Please join us for this talk.

Monday, June 27, 5-7pm in TB 130:
Jonathan Cohen (UCSD), “On the Presuppositional Behavior of Coherence-Driven Pragmatic Enrichments” (joint work with Andrew Kehler)
abstract:
Consider (1) and (2):
(1) Every time the company fires an employee who comes in
late, a union complaint is lodged.
(2) If the company fires an employee who comes in late, a
union complaint will be lodged.
Now suppose there is an employee, Snodgrass, who is fired because he
was discovered to have been embezzling, and that the firing occurred
on a day on which he had happened to come in late. And suppose the
union does nothing about it. In this situation, it seems that (1) and
(2) can still be true.If so, there must be an enrichment at play that affects truth
conditions: even though Snodgrass came in late and was fired, the fact
that Snodgrass wasn’t fired *because* he was late causes the
event to sit outside of the domain restriction of (1), and, likewise,
not to satisfy the antecedent of the conditional in (2). Importantly,
this enrichment has no linguistic mandate, and therefore is clearly
pragmatic. So why does it intrude upon the truth conditions of (1) and
(2)?

We argue that this behavior arises as a result of the way in which the
enrichments interact with pragmatic presupposition. In particular, in
producing examples (1)-(2) with the intention to communicate the
enrichment, a speaker presupposes that a causal relation necessary to
make the inference is part of the common ground, and intends that
presupposition to restrict the interpretation of the
quantifier/antecedent in (1)/(2).

The analysis connects the associative inferences that underlie the
establishment of coherence relations between sentences in a discourse,
a class of intrasentential enrichments that result from the same
principles, and the manner in which presuppositions constrain the
interpretation of quantified expressions and conditionals.

If you have any questions, please email mark[DOT]steen[at-symbol]boun.edu.tr
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Written by markedwardsteen

June 20, 2016 at 9:50 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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