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Auteur: Yasutada SUDO

Beyond Frege-Strawson: Presupposition, Quantification and Anaphora

Abstract/Résumé: Presupposition is particularly intensively discussed in the theoretical literature today, and a multitude of competing theories have been put forward that differ both conceptually and empirically (Beaver 2001, Beaver & Krahmer 2001, Chemla 2009, Fox 2008, 2012, George 2008, Geurts 1999, Heim 1983, Peters 1979, van der Sandt 1992, Schlenker 2008, 2009, 2010a,b). The main goal of this talk is to contribute to this debate by raising an empirical problem for current theories, and to motivate the 'multi-dimensional' view of presupposition. The key observation is that some predicates have presuppositions that are not entailed by their assertive meanings (in the sense of generalized entailment), which I call 'non-entailed presuppositions'. Predicates with non-entailed presuppositions include 'criticized herself' and 'didn't stop smoking', for example. I propose a linguistic test that tells if a given presupposition predicate has an entailed or non-entailed presupposition. The central theoretical claim of the talk is that when combined with certain quantifiers such as 'exactly one student', predicates with non-entailed presuppositions give rise to meanings that pose a serious challenge for current theories of presupposition. This problem illustrates the inadequacy of the commonly adopted view of presupposition that presuppositions are pre-conditions for sentences to be true or false, which I call the 'Frege-Strawson view', and a solution requires a more expressive theory where assertive meanings and presuppositions can be true or false independently from each other. To this end, I advocate a multi-dimensional theory of presupposition. The multi-dimensional view was once popular in the 70's (Karttunen & Peters 1979), but it is now known that it faces an empirical problem called the 'Binding Problem' in certain quantified sentences. This was once considered to be a fatal problem for the multi-dimensional view and led to the development of modern one-dimensional theories. However, I suggest a novel theory of presupposition projection in quantified sentences that makes use of what I call 'cross-dimensional anaphora' to solve the Binding Problem.