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BBI 3219 Semantik & Pragmatik. TOPIC 1Figurative Language - Compositional meaning - The Principle of Compositionality - Metaphor, Metonymy, Idioms - Synecdoche.

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Presentation on theme: "BBI 3219 Semantik & Pragmatik. TOPIC 1Figurative Language - Compositional meaning - The Principle of Compositionality - Metaphor, Metonymy, Idioms - Synecdoche."— Presentation transcript:

1 BBI 3219 Semantik & Pragmatik

2 TOPIC 1Figurative Language - Compositional meaning - The Principle of Compositionality - Metaphor, Metonymy, Idioms - Synecdoche 2Presupposition, entailment 3Contextual meaning / context and inference - Utterance meaning - Deixis, reference 4Cooperation and Implicature - The cooperative principle, Grice’s maxim - Conversational implicature, Relevance Theory - Conventional implicature 5Speech Acts and Events - The speech act theory - Felicity conditions - Speech act classification 6Politeness and Interaction - Politeness theory - Positive and negative face - Positive and negative politeness

3 The study of meaning in context – Situational context – Linguistic context – Social context Utterances not sentences 1.Deixis 2.Speech Acts 3.Cooperation Principles & Implicature 4.Politeness Pragmatics

4 Deixis “Deixis is a technical term (from Greek) - ‘pointing’ via language. Any linguistic form used to accomplish this ‘pointing’ is called a deictic expression. When you notice a strange object and ask, ‘What’s that?’, you are using a deictic expression(‘that’) to indicate something in the immediate context. Deictic expressions are also sometimes called indexicals. [Yule, 1996: 9]

5 Person deixis: Any expression used to point to a person (me, you, him, them) Place / Spatial deixis: Words used to point to a location (here, there, yonder) Time / Temporal deixis: used to point to a time (now, then, tonight, last week) All these deictic expressions have to be interpreted in terms of what person, place or time the speaker has in mind. There is a broad distinction between what is marked as close to the speaker (this, here, now) and what is marked as distant (that, there, then). It is also possible to mark whether movement is happening towards the speaker's location (come) or away from the speaker's location (go).

6 Temporal Deixis: Tenses indicating past, present, and future time must also be regarded as deictic, because past, present, and future times are defined by reference to the time of utterance. – The present tense - proximal form – the past tense - distal form. The actual distance or proximity to be expressed means not only the distance from current time, but also distance from current reality or facts (Yule 1996, 14-15).(Yule 1996, 14-15) Coding vs receiving time: – An utterance in present tense was produced “during a temporal span including the coding time” (Levinson 2005, 115).(Levinson 2005, 115) – Past tense would mean that the event took place before the coding time.

7 SPEECH ACT THEORY

8 Declarative sentences like Declarative sentences like There’s a snake in the grass may involve more than a description of the world: The speaker could be: 1.guessing that there was a snake in the grass 2.claiming... 3.warning the hearer that... 4.expressing his surprize that... 5.expressing his relief that there is...

9 Language can be used not just for describing the thoughts and beliefs conveyed, but rather of the acts the speakers perform: the illocutionary forces of uttrances. State Conclude Apologize Complain Reprimand Correct Offer Invite Greet Congratulate We do things things with words with words

10 A speech act is an action performed by means of language Ex.: describing something ("It is snowing.") asking a question ("Is it snowing?") making a request or order ("Could you pass the salt?", "Drop your weapon or I'll shoot you!") making a promise ("I promise I'll give it back.")

11 We use language to do a wide range of things. Ex.: Conveying information: The PM is out of the country. Requesting information: When and where is the lecture? Giving orders: Stand up! Making requests: Please, carry my bags. Making threats: Do that again, and I’ll send you to your room. Giving warnings: There’s a spider on your shoulder. Giving advice: You ought to go to the lectures every week. and so on...

12 A PERFORMATIVE utterance is one that actually describes the act that it performs, i.e. it PERFORMS some act and SIMULTANEOUSLY DESCRIBES that act. Which one is a performative and which is not? Why? a)‘I promise to repay you tomorrow’ b)‘John promised to repay me tomorrow’

13 ‘I promise to repay you tomorrow’ is performative because in saying it the speaker actually does what the utterance describes, i.e. he promises to repay the hearer the next day. That is, the utterance both describes and is a promise. ‘John promised to repay me tomorrow’, although it describes a promise, is not itself a promise.

14 Performatives vs. Constatives Performatives: Utterances that are used to do things or perform acts. 1. I pronounce you man and wife. 2. I sentence you to 50 years in prison. 3. I promise to drive you to Singapore. Austin initially also believes that Performatives can not be verified as true or false. Constatives: Utterances that can be verified as true or false. These utterances were typically in the form of assertions or statements. “The Michigan River sometimes freezes over”.

15 PERFORMATIVE VERBS I assert that | the Prime Minister is out of the country. I ask | when and where is the lecture? I order you to | stand up. I request that you | carry my bags. I warn you that if you | do that again, and I’ll send you to your room. I warn you that | there’s a spider on your shoulder. I bet you | fifty dollars that New Zealand will beat Australia in the Rugby World Cup. I advise you to | go to the lectures every week. These sentences have verbs that state the speech act. These sentences are explicit performatives. These verbs are called performative verbs. These verbs can be used to perform the acts they name.

16 Not every speech act has its own explicit performative verb…….. The performative hypothesis Ex.: Clean up this mess! This is an impicit performative (no performative verb is present) How can I define its communicative intention / what kind of speech act is it?

17 The “hereby” test One simple way to decide whether a speech act is a performative (an implicit performative) is to insert the word “hereby” between subject and verb. If the resulting utterance makes sense, then the speech act is probably a performative. Hereby: As a result of this, by this means Ex: Clean up this mess! I hereby order you that you clean up this mess. (ordering) Please, take out the garbage. I hereby request you to take out the garbage. (making a request)

18 In order for a performative utterance to ‘work’, there are certain conditions that have to be met. Austin called these felicity conditions—they’re the conditions that must be in place for the act in question to come off successfully (or felicitously). FELICITY CONDITIONS

19 The context and the situation that allow us to recognize a speech act as intended by the speaker. The conditions that must be fulfilled for a speech act to be satisfactorily performed or realized A sentence must not only be grammatically correct, it must also be felicitous, that is situationally appropriate.

20 FELICITY CONDITIONS Felicity conditions: expected or appropriate circumstances for a speech act to be recognized as intended I sentence you to six months in prison - performance will be infelicitous if the speaker is not a judge in a courtroom

21 Locutionary, Illocutionary and Perlocutionary Speech Acts Austin (1962) says that when a speaker utters a sentence, s/he may perform three types of acts: locutionary act, illocutionary act and perlocutionary act.

22 Locutionary Act The basic act of speaking Making meaningful utterance An act of uttering a sentence with a certain sense and reference, which is roughly equivalent to ‘meaning’ in the traditional sense. (1)The final exam will be difficult.

23 Ilocutionary Act an act of performing some action in saying something (e.g, warning); Is the speaker’s intention. What is said has a purpose in mind. An utterance either verbal or written with the purpose in mind to fulfill an intention or accomplish an action. Performing an Illocutionary act means issuing an utterance that carries an illocutionary force/point.

24 Ilocutionary Act Examples of illocutionary forces would be accusing, promising, naming, ordering. (1) The final exam will be difficult. By uttering (1), the speaker may be performing the act of informing, claiming, guessing, reminding, warning, threatening, or requesting.

25 Perlocutionary Act What speakers bring about or achieve by saying something, such as convincing, persuading, deterring. (1) The final exam will be difficult. By uttering (1), I may have achieved in convincing you to study harder for the final exam

26 A sentence can be associated with several different illocutionary forces, depending on the discourse context. (3) I will send you an next week. By uttering (3) the speaker can report a decision, and at the same time make a promise.

27 Searle’s typology of speech acts Illocutionary pointDirection of point/fitExpressed psychological state Representativewords-to-worldbelief (speaker) Directivesworld-to-wordsdesire (addressee) Commissivesworld-to-wordsintention (speaker) Expressivesnonevariable (speaker) Declarationsbothnone (speaker) Searle grouped speech acts into five types: Examples: Match the examples to correct category: 1.“Wow, great!“ 2.“I’ll be back in five minutes.“ 3.“Chinese characters were borrowed to write other languages, notably Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese.“ 4.Jury foreman: “We find the defendant not guilty.“ 5.“Turn the TV down.“

28 Searle’s typology of speech acts Illocutionary pointDirection of point/fitExpressed psychological state Representativewords-to-worldbelief (speaker) Directivesworld-to-wordsdesire (addressee) Commissivesworld-to-wordsintention (speaker) Expressivesnonevariable (speaker) Declarationsbothnone (speaker) Searle grouped speech acts into five types: Examples: Match the examples to correct category: Expressives: “Wow, great!“ Commissives: “I’ll be back in five minutes.“ Representative: “Chinese characters were borrowed to write other languages, notably Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese.“ Declarations: Jury foreman: “We find the defendant not guilty.“ Directives: “Turn the TV down.“

29 Types of Illocutionary act Searle classifies Speech Acts into five categories: 1.Assertives/ Representatives: commit the Speaker to the truth of the expressed proposition. They have a truth value and express Speaker’s belief that p. Paradigm cases: asserting, concluding, affirming, alleging, announcing, answering, attributing, claiming, classifying, concurring, confirming, conjecturing, denying, disagreeing, disclosing, disputing, identifying, informing, insisting, predicting, ranking, reporting, stating, stipulating.

30 Searle’s speech act classification 2. Directives: are Speech Acts which are attempts the Speaker makes in order to get the addressee engage in a certain action. They express Speaker’s wish that Hearer do the act A. Paradigm cases include requesting, questioning, advising, admonishing, asking, begging, dismissing, excusing, forbidding, instructing, ordering, permitting, requiring, suggesting, urging, warning.

31 Searle’s speech act classification 3. Commissives: commit Speaker to some future course of action. Speaker expresses the intention that Speaker do the act A. Paradigm cases comprise promising, threatening, offering, agreeing, guaranteeing, inviting, swearing, volunteering.

32 Searle’s speech act classification 4. Expressives express Speaker’s attitude to a certain state of affairs specified (if at all) in the propositional content; a variety of different psychological states; propositional content must be related to Speaker or Hearer. Paradigm cases: thanking, apologizing, welcoming, congratulating, condoling, greeting, accepting.

33 Searle’s speech act classification 5. Declarations are Speech Acts which effect immediate changes in the institutional state of affairs and which tend to rely on elaborate extralinguistic institutions. Paradigm cases include excommunicating, declaring war, christening, marrying, firing from employment.

34 A single utterance can express two different illocutionary forces at the same time. (1) I will send you an next week. By uttering (1), the speaker can report a decision, and at the same time make a promise.

35 Indirect speech acts Searle also recognized the existence of INDIRECT SPEECH ACTS. In a direct speech act there is a direct relationship between its linguistic structure and the work it is doing. In indirect speech acts the speech act is performed indirectly through the performance of another speech act.”

36 1(a) ‘Come in, please.’ is a direct request. 2(a) ‘It is quite wrong to condone robbery.’ is a direct assertion against robbery. 3(a) ‘You should go to the doctor.’ is a direct piece of advice. Performing an indirect speech act, the speaker utters a sentence which does not mean exactly what he or she says: 1(b) ‘Won’t you come in?’ is not merely a Yes-No question.  an indirect request made in a very concerned manner. 2(b) ‘Is it right to condone robbery?’ is an indirect assertion against, robbery though it is in form of a Yes-No question. 3(b) ‘Why don’t you go to the doctor?’ is not used to ask for any reason. Instead, it is used to give an indirect piece of advice though it is in form of a Wh-question

37 Indirect speech acts are more polite than their direct counterparts. The more indirect a speech act is, the more polite it is. The most influential model of politeness is Brown and Levinson’s face-saving-model.

38 Politeness and interaction General idea of politeness: fixed concept of social behavior/etiquette within a culture, involves certain general principles as being tactful, generous, modest, sympathetic towards others Narrower concept of politeness within an interaction: face = the public self-image of a person (emotional and social sense of self one has and expects everyone else to recognize)

39 Face is the public self image that every member wants to claim for himself. Individual's self-esteem (face) motivates strategies of politeness (solidarity, restraint, avoidance of unequivocal impositions). Within everyday social interaction people generally behave as if their expectations concerning their face wants (i.e. public self-image) will be respected 1.Positive face 2.Negative face Politeness (Brown and Levinson 1987)

40 Positive face: individual’s desire to be accepted and liked by others; positive self-image or ‘personality’ Positive politeness orients to preserving the positive face of others. Speech strategies that emphasize solidarity with the addressee, e.g. claiming common ground, conveying that speaker and addressee are co-operators Politeness (Brown and Levinson 1987)

41 Negative face: individual’s right of freedom of actions; the basic claim to territories, personal preserves, rights to non-distraction -- i.e., to freedom of action and freedom from imposition Negative politeness orients to maintaining the negative face of others. Speaker tends to choose the speech strategies that emphasize his deference to the addressee. As rational agents, conversational participants will ideally try to preserve both their own face and the other’s in a verbal interaction.

42 Face-threatening acts (FTAs) are speech acts that intrinsically threaten face, for example complaints, disagreements and requests. Speaker says something that represents a threat to another individual's expectations regarding self- image. FTAs can threaten positive face (e.g. accusations, insults, criticism), negative face (e.g. orders, suggestions, requests) or both positive and negative face (e.g. complaints, threats)

43 Face saving act: speaker says something to lessen a possible threat Situation: Young neighbour is playing loud music late at night. Older couple cannot sleep. A: I'm going to tell him to stop that awful noise right now! B: Perhaps you could just ask him if he's going to stop soon because it's getting a bit late and people need to get to sleep.

44 Indirect speech acts Which one does more to save the addressee's negative face? 1)Could you pass the salt? 2)Pass the salt. Is there a difference in positive politeness?

45 This theory holds that the speakers considering the performance of a speech act will generally choose more polite strategies in proportion to the seriousness of the act. There are four different levels of polite strategies that have the potential to gain the goal: 1.Bald on Record 2.Positive Politeness 3.Negative Politeness 4.Off-record Strategy Politeness Theory (Brown and Levinson 1987)

46 1.Bald on Record This strategy is a direct way of saying things, without any minimisation to the imposition, in a direct, clear, unambiguous and concise way. Directly address the other person to express your needs Using imperative forms ‘‘Wash your hands’’ Generally, however, bald on record expressions are associated with speech events where the speaker assumes he/she has power over the other - in everyday interaction between social equals they are avoided as face threatening acts

47 2. Positive Politeness Acts of saving or protecting the hearer's positive face This strategy is directed to the addressee's positive face, her/his perennial desire that her/his wants - or the actions, acquisitions, values resulting from them - should be thought of as desirable. A face saving act concerned with the person's positive face will tend to show solidarity, emphasize that both speakers want the same thing and have a common goal e.g. strategies seeking common ground or co--operation, such as in jokes or offers: ‘‘Wash your hands, honey”

48 Positive Politeness Strategies St. 1 Noticing, attending to H St. 2 Exaggeration St. 3 Intensifying interest to H St. 4 Using in- group identity makers St. 5 Seeking agreement St. 6 Avoiding disagreement St. 7 Presupposition/ raise/ assert common ground St. 8 Joking St. 9 Asserting or presuppose S’s knowledge of and concern for H’s wants St. 10 Offering and promising St. 11 Being optimistic St. 12 Including both S and H in the activity St. 13 Giving (or ask) reasons St. 14 Assuming or asserting reciprocity St. 15 Giving gifts to H (goods, sympathy, understanding, cooperation)

49 3. Negative Politeness Negative politeness attends to a person's negative face needs and includes indirectness and apologies. It expresses respect and consideration. A face saving act oriented to a person's negative face tends to show deference, emphasizes the importance of the other's time or concerns and may include an apology for the imposition

50 3. Negative Politeness Strategy 1: Being conventionally indirect Strategy 2: Questioning, hedge Strategy 3: Being pessimistic Strategy 4: Minimizing the imposition Strategy 5: Giving deference Strategy 6: Apologizing Strategy 7: Impersonalising S and H Strategy 8: Stating the FTA as a general rule

51 4. Off--record Strategy This strategy is the indirect strategy. It uses indirect language and removes the speaker from the potential to being imposing. statements not directly addressed to another person e.g. off-record strategies, which consist of all types of hints, metaphors, tautologies, etc. `Gardening makes your hands dirty` Uh, I forgot my pen. Where is the pen. Hmm, I wonder where I put my pen

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53 Conversational Implicature

54 When people talk with each other, they try to converse smoothly and successfully. Cooperation is the basis of successful conversations. Cooperation and Implicature It is the expectation that the listener has towards the speaker. The speaker is supposed to convey true statements and say nothing more than what is required.

55 The Cooperative Principle Imagine what would happen to language if there were no rules to follow during conversations. Then it would be perfectly acceptable to follow "Hi, how are you doing?“ with "cars are typically made from steel", or to simply lie with every statement you made. But then communication would be virtually impossible.

56 The Cooperative Principle principle of cooperation Grice suggested that conversation is based on a shared principle of cooperation. One of the most basic assumptions we must make for successful communication to take place is that both people in a conversation are cooperating.

57 Grice’s Cooperative Principles The Maxims of Conversation Quality : Try to make your contribution one that is true Quantity: Make your contribution as informative and no more so than is required. Relation: Be relevant Manner: Be perspicuous

58 The maxims of the cooperative principle The maxim of quantity: – Make your contribution as informative as required; – Do not make your contribution more informative than required. The maxim of quality: – Do not say what you believe to be false; – Do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence. The maxim of relation: – Make your contribution relevant. The maxim of manner: – Be perspicuous, and specifically: avoid obscurity avoid ambiguity be brief be orderly.

59 The co-operative principle The overriding social rules which speakers follow in conversation. How it works: – The speaker observes the co-operative principle and the hearer assumes that the speakers follow it.

60 Husband: Where are the car keys? Wife: They’re on the table in the hall. The wife has answered clearly (manner) and truthfully (Quality), has given just the right amount of information (Quantity) and has directly addressed her husband’s goal in asking the question (Relation). She has said precisely what she meant, no more and no less.

61 Implicatures Grice’s maxims (or, their violation) form the basis for inferences that we draw in conversation, which Grice called implicatures. Grice asserted that different ways of violating these maxims give rise to different types of implicatures.

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63 USING THE MAXIMS TO GENERATE IMPLICATURES Overview: three ways to generate conversational implicatures: 1. Observe the maxims 2. Violate the maxims 3. Flout the maxims

64 1. Observing the maxims A: I've run out of petrol. B: There's a garage just round the corner. If B's answer is relevant and informative, but not too informative (i.e. with useless, misleading information), it must connect to A's statement.

65 2. Violating a maxim Violation, takes place when speakers intentionally refrain to apply certain maxims in their conversation to cause misunderstanding on their participants’ part or to achieve some other purposes. Mother: Did you study all day long? Son who has been playing all day long: Yes, I‘ve been studying till now! In this exchange, the boy is not truthful and violates the maxim of quality. He is lies to avoid unpleasant consequences.

66 3. Flouting a maxim The flouting of maxims takes place when individuals deliberately cease to apply the maxims to persuade their listeners to infer the hidden meaning behind the utterances; that is, the speakers employ implicature. Teacher to a student who arrives late more than ten minutes to the class meeting: Wow! You’re such a punctual fellow! Welcome to the class. Student: Sorry sir! It won’t happen again. The teacher  teasing the student and his purpose  praising him. He exploits the maxim of quality (being truthful) to be sarcastic. The student seems to notice the purpose behind the teacher’s compliment and offers an apology in return.

67 3. Flouting a maxim Majid and Ali are talking on the phone: Ali: Where are you, Majid? Majid: I’m in my clothes. Majid tells the truth because it is expected that people are always in some clothes, yet he flouts the maxim of quantity because the information is insufficient for Ali.  Humorous effect

68 The flouting of the cooperative principle Assuming that the speaker is a bona fide (goodwill) speaker. Inference comes into play in the conversation. Flouting is effectively an invitation to find a new meaning, beyond `what is said' -- one that makes the utterance co-operative after all Flouting is generally associated with particular rhetorical effects

69 Implicature can be considered as an additional conveyed meaning (Yule, 1996: 35). It is attained when a speaker intends to communicate more than just what the words mean. It is the speaker who communicates something via implicatures and the listener recognizes those communicated meanings via inference.

70 Presupposition & Entailment

71 What on earth is entailment? Examples of entailment for the sentence in (1) are represented in (2). (1) Rover chased three squirrels. (2) a. Something chased three squirrels. b. Rover did something to three squirrels. c. Rover chased three of something. d. Something happened.

72 Entailment A logical relation between propositions. A proposition P entails a proposition Q, if and only if the truth of Q follows inescapably from the truth of P. e.g. if P is ‘Pete killed the wasp’ and Q is ‘The wasp died’ then if P is true, Q must also be true, and if Q is false, P must also be false. The wasp died could not be true any time before it was true that Pete killed the wasp.

73 The English sentence (14) is normally interpreted so that it entails the sentences in (15) but does not entail those in (16). (14) Lee kissed Kim passionately. (15) a. Lee kissed Kim. b. Kim was kissed by Lee. c. Kim was kissed. d. Lee touched Kim with her lips. (16) a. Lee married Kim. b. Kim kissed Lee. c. Lee kissed Kim many times. d. Lee did not kiss Kim. (Gennaro Chierchia and Sally McConnell-Ginet, Meaning and Grammar: An Introduction to Semantics. MIT Press, 2000)

74 Entailment PQ It’s a dog.It’s an animal. All dogs are purpleMy dog is purple. P entails Q if it is the case that whenever P is true, B is true. Test/Justification If there is any situation where A can be true, and B might not be true, then A does NOT entail B. If there is no such situation, then A entails B. Step 1. Assume that A is true. Step 2. Assume that B is NOT true. Step 3. Check for contradiction. → If there is a contradiction, then A entails B. If not, then A does not entail B.

75 Contradiction Contradictory sentence: A contradictory sentence (or a contradiction) is a sentence which is necessarily false, because of the senses of the words in the sentence. e.g. Elephants are not animals. Cats are fish. A man is a butterfly.

76 Analytic sentence Analytic sentences are generally self-explanatory. They often have little to no informative value  redundant statements Frozen water is ice. Bachelors are unmarried men. Two halves make up a whole. No additional meaning or knowledge is contained in the predicate that is not already given in the subject. Analytic sentences tell us about logic and about language use. They do not give meaningful information about the world

77 Synthetic Sentence Synthetic statements are based on our sensory data and experience. The truth-value of a synthetic statements cannot be figured out based solely on logic. Children wear hats. The table in the kitchen is round. My computer is on. A synthetic sentence is one which is not analytic or contradictory, but which may be true or false depending on the way the world is.

78 Anomaly Refers to what happens when you break semantic rules and create nonsensical expressions. An example of a semantic anomaly would be the phrase the cat sewed the milk. It's not ungrammatical, but it is nonsensical since milk cannot be sewn, nor can cats sew with their tiny adorable paws, as far as we know!

79 Presuppositions Presuppositions can be used to communicate information indirectly. If someone says My brother is rich, we assume that the person has a brother, even though that fact is not explicitly stated. Often, after a conversation has ended, we will realize that some fact imparted to us was not specifically mentioned. That fact is often a presupposition.

80 Presuppositions The propositions or beliefs assumed by an utterance. Those people stopped smoking presupposes that (1)the designated people exist; (2)that the activity called smoking exists; (3)that that activity is known to the hearers; and (4)that the designated people habitually smoked in the past.

81 Your brother is waiting outside for you Presupposition  you have a brother. Why did you arrive late? Presupposition  you did arrive late. When did you stop smoking cigars? Presupposition: 1.you used to smoke cigars 2.you no longer do so.

82 Questions like this, with built-in presuppositions, are very useful devices for interrogators or trial lawyers. If the defendant is asked by the prosecutor : Okay, Mr. Smith, how fast were you going when you ran the red light? Presupposition: Mr. Smith did, in fact, run the red light. If he simply answers the How fast part of the question, by giving a speed, he is behaving as if the presupposition is correct

83 When did you stop beating your wife? Presupposition: The target of the question is married to someone he has beaten at some point in the past Find the presupposition for the following statements: 1. John knows that Mary passed the exam. 2. Mary has stopped revising. 3. John didn’t manage to pass the exam. 4. Mary is better at revising than John

84 1. John knows that Mary passed the exam. Mary passed 2. Mary has stopped revising. Mary has revised previously. 3. John didn’t manage to pass the exam. John tried to pass. 4. Mary is better at revising than John. Both Mary and John revised.

85 Constant under negation One of the tests used to check for the presuppositions underlying sentences involves negating a sentence with a particular presupposition and considering whether the presupposition remains true. e.g. My car is a wreck. Take the negative version of this sentence: My car is not a wreck. Notice that, although these two sentences have opposite meanings, the underlying presupposition, I have a car, remains true in both. This is called the constancy under negation test for presupposition.

86 Constant under negation I used to regret marrying him, but I don't regret marrying him now The presupposition I married him remains constant even though the verb “regret” changes from being affirmative to being negative. John realized/didn't realize that he was in debt Presupposition: John was in debt My cat loves sardines / My cat hates sardines Presupposition: I have a cat

87 Presuppositions Presuppositional information adds facts/beliefs to what is explicitly said Presuppositional information is that which is taken for granted My wife will go to London tomorrow (the speaker has a wife) My number is (the speaker has a telephone account) I’m upset about being charged for a call to Ethiopia (the speaker was charged for a call to Ethiopia) I’m a bachelor (the speaker is an unmarried male person) Test: the negation and question presuppose the same thing Diane’s children are nice. Diane’s children aren’t nice. Diane has got some children Are Diane’s children nice?

88 Characteristics of presupposition The presupposition of an utterance remains the same under its NEGATION: (1)a. John stopped smoking. (1)b. John didn’t stop smoking. (1)a-b both presuppose that John once smoked cigarettes. (2)a. The dog’s tail was cut. (2)b. The dog’s tail wasn’t cut. (2)a-b both presuppose that the dog had a tail. (3)a. I like his car. (3)b. I don’t like his car. (3)a-b both presuppose that he owns a car.

89 Characteristics of presupposition The presupposition of an utterance remains the same under its INTERROGATION: (4)a. John stopped smoking. (4)b. Did John stop smoking? (4)c. Why did John stop smoking? (4)a-c all presuppose that John once smoked cigarettes.

90 Practice What are the presuppositions for the following utterances? 1.I lost my watch yesterday at Ipoh market. 2.Emily was very sad when her turtle went missing. 3.This is my youngest sister. 4.The king of Sweden has just left for France. 5.I wasn’t aware that she was married. 6.I dreamed that I was rich. 7.You’re late again. 8.I ’m going to change job. 9.Who is going to give me a lift to the airport? 10.You shouldn’t have seen such a horror film.’

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