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11 th International Pragmatics Conference Melbourne, 12-17 July 2009 Speaking about Time: Contextual Inferences and Pragmatic Defaults Kasia M. Jaszczolt.

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Presentation on theme: "11 th International Pragmatics Conference Melbourne, 12-17 July 2009 Speaking about Time: Contextual Inferences and Pragmatic Defaults Kasia M. Jaszczolt."— Presentation transcript:

1 11 th International Pragmatics Conference Melbourne, July 2009 Speaking about Time: Contextual Inferences and Pragmatic Defaults Kasia M. Jaszczolt University of Cambridge, U. K.

2 2 Diversity Diversity Context Context Structure Structure

3 3 (1)m 3 ae:r 3 i: I kh 2 iann 3 iy 3 ai: Marywritenovel

4 4 (1) (a) Mary wrote a novel. (b) Mary was writing a novel. (c) Mary started writing a novel but did not finish it. (d) Mary has written a novel. (e) Mary has been writing a novel. (f) Mary writes novels. / Mary is a novelist. (g) Mary is writing a novel. (h) Mary will write a novel. (i) Mary will be writing a novel. from Srioutai (2006: 45)

5 5 (2)f 3 ont 1 ok rain fall (a) It is raining. (default meaning) (b) It was raining. (possible intended meaning)

6 6 ‘…I shall speak of the series of positions running from the far past through the near past to the present, and then from the present to the near future and the far future, as the A series. The series of positions which runs from earlier to later I shall call the B series. The contents of a position in time are called events.’ McTaggart (1908: 111)

7 7 Philosophical Foundations: Supervenience (i) supervenience of the concept of time on the concept of epistemic detachment (temporal properties on modal properties in semantics) (ii) supervenience of the concept of time on space-time (properties of the concept of time on properties of space-time). These two relations are closely connected. Just as the concept of time is founded on a more primitive concepts of uncertainty, probability and detachment, so it is founded on the probability and relativity of real time. It is not just the construal of reality that requires modality; it is reality itself.

8 8 ‘Why do we believe that events are to be distinguished as past, present, and future? I conceive that the belief arises from distinctions in our own experience. At any moment I have certain perceptions, I have also the memory of certain other perceptions, and the anticipation of others again. The direct perception itself is a mental state qualitatively different from the memory or the anticipation of perceptions.’ McTaggart (1908: 127)

9 9 Outline Contextualism in the truth-conditional approach to meaning Contextualism in the truth-conditional approach to meaning Default Semantics (Jaszczolt, e.g. 2005, 2009, forthcoming) Default Semantics (Jaszczolt, e.g. 2005, 2009, forthcoming) Unit of analysis Unit of analysis Sources of information contributing to the unit Sources of information contributing to the unit Pragmatic compositionality Pragmatic compositionality Merger representations: towards a formalization Merger representations: towards a formalization Representing time in DS Representing time in DS

10 10 Post-Gricean theory of utterance/ discourse meaning radical pragmatics sense-generalitycontextualism

11 11 (3)Some British people like cricket. (3a)Some but not all British people like cricket. (4)Tom dropped a camera and it broke. (4a)Tom dropped a camera and as a result it broke. (5)Everybody read Frege. (5a)Every member of the research group read Frege.

12 12 Semantic analysis takes us only part of the way towards the recovery of utterance meaning. Pragmatic enrichment completes the process. Enrichment: and +> and then, and as a result some +> some but not all everybody +> everybody in the room, every acquaintance of the speaker, etc.

13 13 Modulation (Recanati 2004, 2005): The logical form becomes enriched/modulated as a result of pragmatic inference and the entire semantic/pragmatic product becomes subjected to the truth-conditional analysis.

14 14  what is said (Recanati)  primary meaning (Jaszczolt)

15 15  what is said (Recanati)  primary meaning (Jaszczolt) ? Question: How far can the logical form be extended? ‘How much pragmatics’ is allowed in the semantic representation?

16 16 The logical form of the sentence can not only be extended but also replaced by a new semantic representation when the primary, intended meaning demands it. Such extensions or substitutions are primary meanings and their representations are merger representations in Default Semantics. There is no syntactic constraint on merger representations. The logical form of the sentence can not only be extended but also replaced by a new semantic representation when the primary, intended meaning demands it. Such extensions or substitutions are primary meanings and their representations are merger representations in Default Semantics. There is no syntactic constraint on merger representations.

17 17 Object of study of the theory of meaning: Object of study of the theory of meaning:  Discourse meaning intended by Model Speaker and recovered by Model Addressee (primary meaning)

18 18 (6)You are not going to die, Peter. (6a)There is no future time at which you will die, Peter. (6b)You are not going to die from this cut, Peter. (6c)There is nothing to worry about, Peter. Default Semantics: (6c) – substituted proposition (primary meaning)

19 19 (7)Everybody is going to Egypt this spring. (7a)All of the speaker’s close friends and family are going to Egypt this spring. (7b)Egypt seems to be a popular holiday destination among the people the speaker knows. (7c)The interlocutors should consider going on holiday to Egypt this spring.

20 20 Summary so far The output of syntactic processing often leaves the meaning underdetermined. The output of syntactic processing often leaves the meaning underdetermined.

21 21 Summary so far The output of syntactic processing often leaves the meaning underdetermined. The output of syntactic processing often leaves the meaning underdetermined. The object of study of a theory of meaning is a pragmatically modified representation. (Default Semantics is a radical contextualist theory.) The object of study of a theory of meaning is a pragmatically modified representation. (Default Semantics is a radical contextualist theory.)

22 22 Summary so far The output of syntactic processing often leaves the meaning underdetermined. The output of syntactic processing often leaves the meaning underdetermined. This pragmatically modified representation is an object of study of a theory of meaning (Default Semantics is a radical contextualist theory). This pragmatically modified representation is an object of study of a theory of meaning (Default Semantics is a radical contextualist theory). There is no syntactic constraint on the object of study. There is no syntactic constraint on the object of study.

23 23 Summary so far The output of syntactic processing often leaves the meaning underdetermined. The output of syntactic processing often leaves the meaning underdetermined. This pragmatically modified representation is an object of study of a theory of meaning (Default Semantics is a radical contextualist theory). This pragmatically modified representation is an object of study of a theory of meaning (Default Semantics is a radical contextualist theory). There is no syntactic constraint on the object of study. There is no syntactic constraint on the object of study. Discourse meaning is construed as meaning intended by the Model Speaker and recovered by Model Addressee. Discourse meaning is construed as meaning intended by the Model Speaker and recovered by Model Addressee.

24 24 Going beyond contextualism: Going beyond contextualism: DS does not recognize the level of meaning at which the logical form is pragmatically developed/modulated as a real, interesting, and cognitively justified construct. To do so would be to assume that syntax plays a privileged role among various carriers of information (contextualists’ mistake).

25 25 (8)Child: Can I go punting? Mother: You are too small. (A) The child is too small to go punting. (B) The child can’t go punting.

26 26 (8)Child: Can I go punting? Mother: You are too small. (A) The child is too small to go punting. (B) The child can’t go punting. (6)Situation: A little boy cuts his finger and cries. Mother: You are not going to die. (A) The boy is not going to die from the cut. (B1) There is nothing to worry about. (B2) It’s not a big deal.

27 27 (8)Child: Can I go punting? Mother: You are too small. (A)The child is too small to go punting. (B) The child can’t go punting. (6)Situation: A little boy cuts his finger and cries. Mother: You are not going to die. (A) The boy is not going to die from the cut. (B1) There is nothing to worry about. (B2) It’s not a big deal.

28 28 Interlocutors frequently communicate their main intended content through a proposition which is not syntactically restricted. Interlocutors frequently communicate their main intended content through a proposition which is not syntactically restricted. Experimental evidence: Nicolle and Clark 1999 Pitts 2005 Sysoeva and Jaszczolt 2007

29 29 Merger Representation  Primary meanings are modelled as the so-called merger representations. Primary meanings are modelled as the so-called merger representations.

30 30 Merger Representation  Primary meanings are modelled as the so-called merger representations. Primary meanings are modelled as the so-called merger representations. The outputs of sources of information about meaning merge and all the outputs are treated on an equal footing. The outputs of sources of information about meaning merge and all the outputs are treated on an equal footing.

31 31 Merger Representation  Primary meanings are modelled as the so-called merger representations. Primary meanings are modelled as the so-called merger representations. The outputs of sources of information about meaning merge and all the outputs are treated on an equal footing. The syntactic constraint is abandoned. The outputs of sources of information about meaning merge and all the outputs are treated on an equal footing. The syntactic constraint is abandoned. Merger representations have the status of mental representations. Merger representations have the status of mental representations.

32 32 Merger Representation  Primary meanings are modelled as the so-called merger representations. Primary meanings are modelled as the so-called merger representations. The outputs of sources of information about meaning merge and all the outputs are treated on an equal footing. The syntactic constraint is abandoned. The outputs of sources of information about meaning merge and all the outputs are treated on an equal footing. The syntactic constraint is abandoned. Merger representations have the status of mental representations. Merger representations have the status of mental representations. They have a compositional structure: they are proposition-like, truth-conditionally evaluable constructs, integrating information coming from various sources that interacts according to the principles established by the intentional character of discourse. They have a compositional structure: they are proposition-like, truth-conditionally evaluable constructs, integrating information coming from various sources that interacts according to the principles established by the intentional character of discourse.

33 33 Sources of information for  : (i) world knowledge (WK); (ii) word meaning and sentence structure (WS); (iii) situation of discourse (SD); (iv) properties of the human inferential system (IS); (v) stereotypes and presumptions about society and culture (SC).

34 34 SC (9)A Botticelli was stolen from the Uffizi last week. (9a)A painting by Botticelli was stolen from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence last week.

35 35 WK (10)The temperature fell below -10 degrees Celsius and the lake froze. (10a) The temperature fell below -10 degrees Celsius and as a result the lake froze.

36 36 IS (11)The author of Cloud Atlas has breathtaking sensitivity and imagination. (11a)David Mitchell has breathtaking sensitivity and imagination.

37

38 38 The model of sources of information can be mapped onto types of processes that produce the merger representation  of the primary meaning and the additional (secondary) meanings. The model of sources of information can be mapped onto types of processes that produce the merger representation  of the primary meaning and the additional (secondary) meanings.

39

40 40 Mapping between sources and processes WK  SCWD or CPI SC  SCWD or CPI WS  WS (logical form) SD  CPI IS  CD In building merger representations DS makes use of the processing model and it indexes the components of  with a subscript standing for the type of processing.

41 41 There is a need to distinguish the two kinds of processes: the conscious, inferential one and the automatic, subdoxastic one. There is a need to distinguish the two kinds of processes: the conscious, inferential one and the automatic, subdoxastic one. Cf.: Levinson (2000) & Recanati (2002, 2004) – w.r.t. primary meanings Cf.: Levinson (2000) & Recanati (2002, 2004) – w.r.t. primary meanings

42 42 Compositionality of Primary Meanings Schiffer (e. g. 1991, 1994, 2003): composition of meaning reflects compositional reality. Meaning supervenes on the structure of the world. Schiffer (e. g. 1991, 1994, 2003): composition of meaning reflects compositional reality. Meaning supervenes on the structure of the world. Recanati (2004): compositionality belongs to modulated propositions. ‘Interactionist’, ‘Gestaltist’ compositionality. Recanati (2004): compositionality belongs to modulated propositions. ‘Interactionist’, ‘Gestaltist’ compositionality. DS: compositionality of utterance meaning rather than sentence meaning. DS: compositionality of utterance meaning rather than sentence meaning.

43 43 Merger representations are compositional structures.

44 44 Compositionality is a methodological principle: ‘…it is always possible to satisfy compositionality by simply adjusting the syntactic and/or semantic tools one uses, unless that is, the latter are constrained on independent grounds.’ Groenendijk and Stokhof (1991: 93)

45 45 Selected applications of DS Origins: Jaszczolt 1992, Parsimony of Levels (POL) Principle: Levels of senses are not to be multiplied beyond necessity. Origins: Jaszczolt 1992, Parsimony of Levels (POL) Principle: Levels of senses are not to be multiplied beyond necessity. First applications: definite descriptions, proper names, and belief reports (Jaszczolt 1997, 1999); negation and discourse connectives (Lee 2002). First applications: definite descriptions, proper names, and belief reports (Jaszczolt 1997, 1999); negation and discourse connectives (Lee 2002). Recent applications: presupposition, sentential connectives, number terms, temporality, and modality (Jaszczolt 2005; 2009; Srioutai 2004, 2006; Jaszczolt and Srioutai forthcoming; Engemann 2008); syntactic constraint on primary meaning (Sysoeva and Jaszczolt 2007). Recent applications: presupposition, sentential connectives, number terms, temporality, and modality (Jaszczolt 2005; 2009; Srioutai 2004, 2006; Jaszczolt and Srioutai forthcoming; Engemann 2008); syntactic constraint on primary meaning (Sysoeva and Jaszczolt 2007).

46 46 Languages: Languages: English, Korean, Thai, Russian, French, German

47 47 Representing Time

48 48

49 49 Merger Representations for the Past (12)Lidia went to a concert yesterday. (regular past) (13)This is what happened yesterday. Lidia goes to a concert, meets her school friend and tells her… (past of narration) (14)Lidia would have gone to a concert (then). (epistemic necessity past) (15)Lidia must have gone to a concert (yesterday). (epistemic necessity past) (16)Lidia may have gone to a concert (yesterday). (epistemic possibility past) (17)Lidia might have gone to a concert (yesterday). (epistemic possibility past)

50 50  a cline of decreasing epistemic commitment

51 Fig. 3: Degree of epistemic commitment for selected expressions with past-time reference

52 52 Acc ├ p‘it is acceptable that it is the case that p’ Grice (2001)

53 53 ACC Δ ├ Σ ‘it is acceptable to the degree Δ that Σ is true’

54 Fig. 4: Σ for example (12) ‘Lidia went to a concert yesterday.’ (regular past) Σ

55 Fig. 5: Σ for example (16) ‘Lidia may have gone to a concert yesterday.’ (epistemic possibility past) Σ

56 56 Merger Representations for the Present (18)Lidia is at a concert now. (regular present) (19)Lidia will be at a concert now. (epistemic necessity present) (20)Lidia must be at a concert now. (epistemic necessity present) (21)Lidia may be at a concert now. (epistemic possibility present) (22)Lidia might be at a concert now. (epistemic possibility present)

57 Fig. 6: Degree of epistemic commitment for expressions with present- time reference

58 58 (23)Lidia will often sing in the shower. (dispositional necessity present)

59 Fig. 7: Σ for example (18) ‘Lidia is at a concert now.’ (regular present) Σ

60 Fig. 8: Σ for example (19) ‘Lidia will be at a concert now’ (epistemic necessity present) Σ

61 Fig. 9: Σ for example (23) ‘Lidia will often sing in the shower’ (dispositional necessity present) Σ

62 62 Merger Representations for the Future (24)Lidia goes to a concert tomorrow evening. (‘tenseless’ future) (25)Lidia is going to a concert tomorrow evening. (futurate progressive) (26)Lidia is going to go to a concert tomorrow evening. (periphrastic future) (27)Lidia will go to a concert tomorrow evening. (regular future) (28)Lidia must be going to a concert tomorrow evening. (epistemic necessity future) (29)Lidia may go to a concert tomorrow evening. (epistemic possibility future) (30)Lidia might go to a concert tomorrow evening. (epistemic possibility future)

63 Fig. 10: Degree of modal detachment for selected expressions with future-time reference

64 Fig. 11: Σ for example (27) ‘Lidia will go to a concert tomorrow evening’ (regular future)  

65 Fig. 12: Σ for example (25) ‘Lidia is going to a concert tomorrow evening.’ (futurative progressive)  

66   Fig. 13: Σ for example (29) ‘Lidia may go to a concert tomorrow evening’ (epistemic possibility future) future may, default reading

67 67 (31)k 1 r 3 eml 3 in c 1 a c 1 ap ng 3 u: Gremlinc 1 acatch snake (31a)Gremlin will catch a snake (default meaning) (31b)Gremlin would have caught a snake (contextually inferred meaning) from Srioutai (2006: 242-4)

68 Fig. 14: Σ for example (31) ‘Gremlin will catch a snake.’ (default reading 31a)  

69 Fig. 15: Σ for example (31) ‘Gremlin would have caught a snake.’ (non-default reading 31b) 

70 70 (1)m 3 ae:r 3 i: I kh 2 iann 3 iy 3 ai: Marywritenovel

71  Fig. 16:  for example (1) ‘Mary wrote a novel’ (regular past)

72 72 Application to contrastive studies and translation: H1 Semantic equivalence is the equivalence of what is said.  adequate, contextualist definition of what is said: primary meaning of Default Semantics

73 73 H1 Semantic equivalence is the equivalence of what is said.  adequate, contextualist definition of what is said: primary meaning of Default Semantics H2 Pragmatic equivalence is the equivalence of what is implicitly communicated.  Pragmatic equivalence is the equivalence of both primary and secondary meanings.

74 74 Conclusions Merger representations of Default Semantics can represent temporal reference which is achieved in discourse in a variety of ways, not only through grammatical tenses and adverbials. Merger representations of Default Semantics can represent temporal reference which is achieved in discourse in a variety of ways, not only through grammatical tenses and adverbials.

75 75 Conclusions Merger representations of Default Semantics can represent temporal reference which is achieved in discourse in a variety of ways, not only through grammatical tenses and adverbials. Merger representations of Default Semantics can represent temporal reference which is achieved in discourse in a variety of ways, not only through grammatical tenses and adverbials. Merger representations can represent cross-linguistic differences in referring to past, present and future eventualities. Merger representations can represent cross-linguistic differences in referring to past, present and future eventualities.

76 76 Conclusions Merger representations of Default Semantics can represent temporal reference which is achieved in discourse in a variety of ways, not only through grammatical tenses and adverbials. Merger representations of Default Semantics can represent temporal reference which is achieved in discourse in a variety of ways, not only through grammatical tenses and adverbials. Merger representations can represent cross-linguistic differences in referring to past, present and future eventualities. Merger representations can represent cross-linguistic differences in referring to past, present and future eventualities. Compositionality is best understood as pragmatic compositionality, sought at the level of Σ s rather than WS. Compositionality is best understood as pragmatic compositionality, sought at the level of Σ s rather than WS.

77 77 Conclusions Merger representations of Default Semantics can represent temporal reference which is achieved in discourse in a variety of ways, not only through grammatical tenses and adverbials. Merger representations of Default Semantics can represent temporal reference which is achieved in discourse in a variety of ways, not only through grammatical tenses and adverbials. Merger representations can represent cross-linguistic differences in referring to past, present and future eventualities. Merger representations can represent cross-linguistic differences in referring to past, present and future eventualities. Compositionality is best understood as pragmatic compositionality, sought at the level of Σ s rather than WS. Compositionality is best understood as pragmatic compositionality, sought at the level of Σ s rather than WS. Temporality is not a primitive concept. It supervenes on the concept of epistemic detachment (ACC Δ ├ Σ’) from the truth of the merged proposition (Σ’). Temporality is not a primitive concept. It supervenes on the concept of epistemic detachment (ACC Δ ├ Σ’) from the truth of the merged proposition (Σ’).

78 78 Thank you!

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