Local Pragmatics Redux: Presupposition Accommodation and Non-Redundancy Without Covert Operators
Keny Chatain, Philippe Schlenker
February 2024

[NEW TITLE: Local Pragmatics Redux: Presupposition Accommodation Without Covert Operators] On several occasions in recent linguistic research, operations that used to be considered part of pragmatics were syntacticized: a covert operator was postulated to enrich the meaning of some constituents as part of compositional semantics. Two cases in point are Chierchia, Fox and Spector's exhaustivity operator O, used to compute local implicatures; and Bochvar's assertation operator A, used to compute local accommodation of presuppositions. A key benefit of syntacticization is to explain why these operations can be performed in the scope of various operators, something that is not easy to conceptualize within standard Gricean pragmatics. But are these operators syntactically real? We offer a case study of the operator A. Using tests based on ellipsis, we argue that it is not syntactically real. In the spirit of Recanati's 'free enrichment', we develop an alternative analysis of presupposition accommodation. It is based on a generalization of domain restriction, which we take to apply not just to nominal elements but, when needed, to verbal elements as well. Besides this result, our analysis raises a more general question: Which pragmatic operators are syntactically real and which are not?
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/007095
(please use that when you cite this article)
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keywords: semantics, pragmatics, operators, semantics/pragmatics interface, local implicatures, local accommodation, non-redundancy, semantics, syntax
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