Conditional independence and biscuit conditional questions in Dynamic Semantics

Katsuhiko Sano, Yurie Hara

Abstract


Biscuit conditionals such as ‘If you are thirsty, there’s beer in the fridge.’ are felt different from canonical conditionals ‘If it’s raining, the fireworks will be cancelled.’ in that the consequent seems to be entailed regardless of the truth/falsity of the antecedent. Franke (2009) argues that the “feeling of the consequent entailment” in biscuit conditionals is due to the conditional independence between the antecedent and consequent; thus a uniform semantics for canonical and biscuit conditionals can be maintained. A question arises as to whether it is possible to derive the same consequent entailment in the framework of dynamic semantics.
Furthermore, there are some instances of biscuit conditional questions such as ‘If I get thirsty, is there anything in the fridge?’ This paper provides a dynamic and non-symmetric version of the independence condition, a d-independence condition which correctly derives the consequent entailment in both declaratives and interrogatives.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3765/salt.v24i0.2417