The meanings of perspectival verbs and their implications on the taxonomy of projective content/conventional implicature

David Yoshikazu Oshima


This work discusses the  presuppositional meanings of three kinds of perspectival (perspective-sensitive) verbs: (i) motion-deictic verbs, (ii) empathy-loaded verbs, and (iii) referent-honorific verbs, and their implications on the taxonomy of "projective content", which subsumes but is not limited to presupposition. Building on Tonhauser, Beaver, Roberts & Simons's (2013; "Toward a taxonomy of projective content", Language 89) four-way classification of projective content, I propose a more fine-grained, six-way classification that distinguishes "global-context oriented" content, which obligatorily projects through a "filter" operator such as a belief predicate, and "ambioriented" content, which  optionally does so. I also develop a "pseudo-multidimensional" representation of natural language meaning, where (i) proffered content, (ii) nonpresuppositional projective content, and (iii) presuppositional projective content have distinct roles in the sentence meaning, while anaphoric interaction across them is nevertheless possible.

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