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Processing presuppositions: dynamic semantics vs pragmatic enrichment

Chemla, Emmanuel and Bott, Lewis 2013. Processing presuppositions: dynamic semantics vs pragmatic enrichment. Language and Cognitive Processes 28 (3) , pp. 241-260. 10.1080/01690965.2011.615221

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One defining and yet puzzling feature of linguistic presuppositions is the way they interact with linguistic operators. For instance, when a presupposition trigger (e.g., realise) occurs under negation (e.g., Zoologists do not realise that elephants are mammals), the sentence is most commonly interpreted with the same global presupposition (elephants are mammals) as if negation was not present. Alternatively, the presupposition may be locally accommodated, i.e., the presupposition may become part of what is negated. In this paper, we develop and test two processing accounts of presupposition projection, the global-first model and the local-first model, inspired by dynamic semantics and pragmatic theories respectively. We tested these predictions using a verification task similar to Bott and Noveck's test of default models of scalar implicature. Across two experiments, using different materials and instructions, participants were faster to derive the global interpretation than the local interpretation, in contrast to the local-first model. We discuss the results in terms of dynamic semantics vs pragmatic models of presupposition projection.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Uncontrolled Keywords: Presupposition; processing; Scalar implicatures; pragmatics; Dynamic semantics
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 0169-0965
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:52

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