Prosodic Effects on Factive Presupposition Projection

Kajsa Djärv, Hezekiah Akiva Bacovcin


This paper reports a follow-up to Tonhauser (2016) investigating the interaction between prosodically-mediated pragmatics and factive presupposition projection. We replicate Tonhauser’s finding that prosody does have an impact on factive presupposition projection (stress on material in the embedded clause decrease the strength of projection). However, we found that this difference was substantially smaller than the difference between factive and non-factive predicates. We also found that stress placement impacted projection judgments for non-factive clauses as well. We outline a hypothesis for a general pragmatic mechanism for deriving non-assertive inferences from prosody and discuss how that mechanism interacts with the projection of factive presuppositions.

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