The Projection Problem for Predicates of Taste

Dilip Ninan


Utterances of simple sentences containing taste predicates (e.g. "delicious", "fun", "frightening") typically imply that the speaker has had a particular sort of first-hand experience with the object of predication. For example, an utterance of "The carrot cake is delicious" would typically imply that the speaker had actually tasted the cake in question, and is not, for example, merely basing her judgment on the testimony of others. According to one approach, this 'acquaintance inference' is essentially an implicature, one generated by the Maxim of Quality together with a certain principle concerning the epistemology of taste (Ninan 2014). We first discuss some problems for this approach, problems that arise in connection with disjunction and generalized quantifiers. Then, after stating a conjecture concerning which operators 'obviate' the acquaintance inference and which do not, we build on Anand and Korotkova 2018 and Willer and Kennedy Forthcoming by developing a theory that treats the acquaintance requirement as a presupposition, albeit one that can be obviated by certain operators.

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