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Auteur: Stefan KAUFMANN

Co-Auteur(s): Magdalena KAUFMANN, Department of Linguistics, University of Connecticut, USA

Information dependence in conditionalized prioritizing modality

Abstract/Résumé: In the recent linguistic and philosophical literature, there is a growing interest in the interaction between the information accessible to an agent and the interpretation of deontic modals or imperative clauses that express what is the optimal course of actions for that agent. Conditional clauses with such deontic modals or imperative clauses in their consequent are particularly interesting: while the antecedent generally restricts the interpretation of the consequent, deontic expressions in the consequent differ in whether the antecedent is treated as part of the information available to the relevant agent, or not. In this talk, we will focus on examples from German, English, and Japanese. We will compare the behavior of various deontic modals and imperative clauses in the consequents of conditional clauses, and we will try to single out a few linguistic factors that correlate with particular interpretational patters. In particular, we will observe an influence of counterfactual morphology (as discussed in connection with the distinction between strong and weak necessity, von Fintel & Iatridou 2008, Rubinstein 2012), and of the semantic property of performativity (Ninan 2005, Portner 2009, Schwager 2006/Kaufmann 2012, Charlow 2012). We will offer an analysis that builds on previous work in Kaufmann 2005, Schwager 2006, Kaufmann & Schwager 2010, and Cariani, Kaufmann & Kaufmann (subm.)