Speaker commitments: Presupposition

Stanley Peters


The view that presuppositions are a variety of speaker commitment is supported by showing that deviance results from presupposing something while undertaking incompatible commitments. Similarities and differences in projection patterns of presuppositions and conversational implicatures, which are not speaker commitments, reveal the ease with which projected conversational implicatures can be mistaken for presuppositions and also the importance of not confounding the two. Some predictions of recent proposals for a unitary account of all projective content (Simons et al. 2010, 2015) are examined, and criticism of some predictions is presented along with some counterevidence. The conclusion is that any theory of presupposition must respect the fact that presuppositions are speaker commitments.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3765/salt.v26i0.3951

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