Taste predicates and the acquaintance inference

Dilip Ninan


Simple sentences containing predicates like "tasty
and "beautiful" typically suggest that the speaker has first-hand knowledge of the item being evaluated. I consider two explanations of this "acquaintance inference": a presuppositional approach, and a pragmatic-epistemic approach. The presuppositional approach has a number of virtues, but runs into trouble because the acquaintance inference has a very different projection pattern from that of standard presuppositions. The pragmatic-epistemic approach accounts for the main data discussed in the paper, but faces challenges of its own.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3765/salt.v24i0.2413