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PhiLang 2013, University of Łódź Conditional Utterances and Conditional Thoughts: A Radical Contextualist Account Kasia M. Jaszczolt & Chi-Hé Elder University.

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2 PhiLang 2013, University of Łódź Conditional Utterances and Conditional Thoughts: A Radical Contextualist Account Kasia M. Jaszczolt & Chi-Hé Elder University of Cambridge 1

3 Conditional utterances in English if p (then) q 2

4 No bi-unique correlation between the form of a conditional expression and the conditional meaning (i)Conditional sentences are not the only way to express conditional thoughts: (1)Say one word against Margaret Thatcher and David will be offended. (  If you say one word against MT, D will be offended.) (2)Your money or your life. (  If you don’t give me your money I will take your life.) 3

5 (ii) Conditional sentences can be put to a variety of uses other than to express conditional thought: (3)If you wouldn’t mind, could you close the door? (4)If that’s a real diamond I’ll eat my hat! 4

6 A cross-linguistic perspective Guugu Yimithirr (Australian, QNL): no overt conditionals (5) The dog might bark. The postman might run away. Evans & Levinson (2009: 443), after Haviland

7 ‘…while perhaps none of the logical connectives are universally lexically expressed, there is no evidence that languages differ in whether or not logical connectives are present in their logical forms.’ von Fintel & Matthewson (2008: 170) 6

8 Outline Conditionals and pragmatic theory: delimiting the object of study Mismatches between forms and meanings in expressing conditionality and their theoretical consequences Various uses of if (ICE-GB) indirect conditionals (6) There are biscuits on the sideboard if you want some. 7

9 Radical contextualism Representing conditional meanings in Interactive Semantics The diversity of ways of expressing conditional meaning, as well as the diversity of uses to which conditional if can be put, are not a problem for a radical contextualist theory. 8

10 Conditionals in pragmatics “…in standard cases to say ‘if p then q’ is to be conventionally committed to (to assert or imply in virtue of the meaning of ‘if’) both the proposition that p  q and the Indirectness Condition” Indirectness Condition: ‘p would, in the circumstances, be a good reason for q’ GCI Grice (1967/1989: 58) 9

11 Common ground ‘supposing p, then q’ 10

12 Cancellable GCI: ‘If he was surprised, he didn’t show it.’ 11

13 ‘…a conditional statement, if A, then B, is an assertion that the consequent is true, not necessarily in the world as it is, but in the world as it would be if the antecedent were true.’ Stalnaker (1975/1999: 68) 12

14 In search for an explanandum and an explanans ‘ordinary conditional sentences’ and truth values (e.g. Grice) ‘ordinary conditional sentences’ and possible worlds (e.g. Stalnaker, Lewis, Kratzer, vs. Woods 1997; Edgington 1997) ‘ordinary conditional sentences’ and hypothetical thought (e.g. Evans & Over 2004; Over et al. 2010; Byrne & Johnson- Laird 2010) 13

15 Extending the scope: two directions (i)to ‘non-ordinary conditional sentences’ (ii)to conditional thoughts in a non-conditional form 14

16 i.a. Different roles of the antecedent (7) If you haven’t heard yet, the Queen attended the funeral. *Question test: And what if I have heard? *Contraposition test: If the Queen didn’t attend the funeral, you have heard already. (adapted from Bonnefon & Politzer 2011: 153) 15

17 i.b. Different speech acts (ICE-GB, Elder) (8) If you rang her now she’d say yes. (advice) (9) Be great if you would do that. (request) 16

18 (10) What we would like to do now is to reformulate the rule so that if a head word’s complement is missing, then the corresponding set in the complement list contains the special sign ‘ind’. B. Gillon, 2012, ‘Implicit complements: a dilemma for model theoretic semantics’. L&P 35, p

19 (10) What we would like to do now is to reformulate the rule so that if a head word’s complement is missing, then [let it be the case that] the corresponding set in the complement list contains the special sign ‘ind’. B. Gillon, 2012, ‘Implicit complements: a dilemma for model theoretic semantics’. L&P 35, p

20 hedging indication of a speech act type conventional expressions of politeness, … 19

21 ii.a (11) Give him a treat and he will be your friend for life. p  Necessarily q >> p  Necessarily q Klinedinst & Rothschild (2012): lexical ambiguity of and? 20

22 against conditional sentence as explanandum 21

23 against conditional sentence as explanandum against minimalist truth-conditional semantics as explanans 22

24 Kratzer 1991/2012: If-clauses restrict the domain of operators (12) If the lights in his study are on, Roger is at home (MUST: the lights in his study are on) (Roger is at home) ‘The history of the conditional is the story of a syntactic mistake.’ Kratzer (2012: 106) 23

25 24 A corpus-based project on conditionals in English No bi-unique correspondence between conditional constructions and conditional thoughts – How should conditionals be classified? – What is the relation between form and content? – How ‘conditional’ are conditionals? Direct versus indirect conditionals – What is the primary intended meaning of conditional constructions? 24

26 25 Classifications of conditionals Conditional constructions lend themselves to a variety of classifications How to classify conditionals depends on the parameters being considered

27 26 Classifications of conditionals (1) Indicative / counterfactual – Have different truth conditions – Classified by mood/tense of verb in consequent (13) If Oswald didn’t kill Kennedy, somebody else did. (14) If Oswald hadn’t killed Kennedy, somebody else would have. (Adams 1970) 26

28 27 Classifications of conditionals (2) Sweetser (1990) (15) If John goes, (as a result) Mary will go (16) If John was there, (it means) Mary was there (17) If you think about it, Mary must have been there – Content / epistemic / speech act conditionals – Correspond to different ‘cognitive domains’ – Concerned with processing 27

29 28 Conditional thoughts and conditional utterances No bi-unique correlation between form and content of conditionals – does not make sense to talk of a category of conditionals in terms of constructions – for the category of conditionals, there may not be much significance of the form p  q 28

30 29 Conditional thoughts and conditional utterances (cont.) (a)Utterance does not have conditional LF – Primary intended meaning is conditional (b)Utterance has conditional LF – Primary intended meaning is conditional – Primary intended meaning is not conditional 29

31 30 A corpus-based approach Corpus-based project on classifying conditionals Great British component of the International Corpus of English (ICE-GB) 300 spoken conversations 2000 words per conversation 30

32 31 46 percent of conditional utterances use ‘if’ (ICE-GB, Elder 2012) 31

33 32 Narrowing scope to conditional constructions Want to look at relation between form and content 32

34 33 2 main types of conditional (Quirk et al 1985) 1. Direct conditionals: – consequent is conditional on antecedent 2. Indirect conditionals: – consequent is not conditional on antecedent (6) There are biscuits on the sideboard if you want some (Austin 1961) 33

35 34 Direct conditionals (18) If you’d listened to me you’d only be seventy behind >> You should have listened to me (19) She’d be terribly offended if we didn’t come and pick her up >> We’d better go and pick her up (20) Oh if you hit me one more time I’ll kill you >> Don’t hit me again 34

36 35 Indirect conditionals (6) There are biscuits on the sideboard if you want some >> please help yourself (3) If you wouldn’t mind, could you close the door? >> please close the door 35

37 36 Indirect conditionals Consequent is true regardless of truth of antecedent Austin (1961): ‘Indirect conditionals’ are not conditional Predelli (2009): Antecedent of an indirect conditional is ‘truth-conditionally irrelevant’ Is there any conditional relation between the antecedent/consequent of an indirect conditional?

38 37 From indirect to direct conditionals Can enrich consequent of an indirect conditional to give a conditional relationship (6) There are biscuits on the sideboard if you want some >> there are biscuits which you may have if you want some (21) If anyone asks, you’re four years old >> if anyone asks, say you’re four years old Indirect conditional at level of LF may be pragmatically interpreted as a direct conditional Enrichment may have to go beyond extending the extant LF

39 38 Conditional meaning may not be speaker’s primary intended meaning (6) There are biscuits on the sideboard if you want some >> there are biscuits which you may have if you want some >> please help yourself (primary meaning) (21) If anyone asks, you’re four years old >> if anyone asks, say you’re four years old (primary meaning)

40 39 What if there is no uttered consequent? (22) Now if you’d like to put on your helmet …that’d be great? …you’ll be safe? …the police won’t catch you? >> put on your helmet (primary meaning) There need not be one single intended consequent recoverable from the context At the level of thoughts, there may not be an intention of a consequent

41 40 How far can we legitimately enrich the consequent to show a conditional relationship between antecedent and consequent? How easy is this enrichment?

42 41 Conditional relationship – some enrichment/modulation required (21) If anyone asks, you’re four years old >> If anyone asks, say you’re four years old (23) If you’ve ever tried running your own business, it’s very difficult >> If you’ve ever tried running your own business, you’ll know that it’s very difficult >> Running a business is very difficult (24) If you’d come round here, we have the Ottomans >> If you’d come round here, you’ll see we have the Ottomans >> Come round here and see the Ottomans

43 42 ‘I invite you to do q (if you want to)’ (25) I can dig the stuff out on it if there’s any interest >> I offer to dig the stuff out (26) You can break into the pears if you want to >> I invite you to have a pear (27) Do hang your coat up if you’d like to >> I invite you to hang your coat up Weak conditional relationship Consequent provides main message

44 43 ‘I’m going to do q (if you’ll let me)’ (28) I’m just going to top up my tea again if you don’t mind (29) Let me develop the point if I may (30) I’d really love to tape it from you if you didn’t mind Weak conditional relationship If hedges non-propositional (speech act) content If calls for hearer’s agreement/acquiescence to action described in consequent

45 44 Conditional expressed through indirect form (31) If I remember rightly you had jaundice, didn’t you >> If I remember rightly, I know that you had jaundice >> You had jaundice, didn’t you? One intended consequent but not stated explicitly If hedges propositional content of consequent

46 45 No explicit conditional relationship (32) It is still peanuts if you’ll pardon the expression (33) She was on the plump side, if I may respectfully say so (34) Very short skirt on if you don’t mind me saying If used to hedge propositional or non-propositional content Cannot retract assertion made in consequent; it is already ‘out there’ Antecedent calls for hearer’s implicit acceptance

47 46 Conditional meaning, but no one intended consequent (22) Now if you’d like to put on your helmet >> Put on your helmet (35) So if you could work on that one >> Work on that one (36) If you can hold on just half a minute while I put these potatoes out >> Hold on half a minute Conventionalised use of if Primary meaning: do p

48 47 Recoverability of the conditional relationship is independent of whether the conditional meaning is the primary meaning There are different degrees of intentions associated with conditional meaning How to capture this in semantics?

49 Conditionals in radical contextualism (9)Be great if you would do that. (22)Now if you’d like to put on your helmet. (37)Touch his iPad and he will scream. 48

50 Conditionals in radical contextualism Languages without conditional connective: ‘…while perhaps none of the logical connectives are universally lexically expressed, there is no evidence that languages differ in whether or not logical connectives are present in their logical forms.’ von Fintel & Matthewson (2008: 170) 49

51 Conditionals in radical contextualism contextualism(s) vs. relativism(s) 50

52 Conditionals in radical contextualism contextualism (one sentence – multiple propositions; indexicalism vs. free enrichment) 51

53 Davis (2013): (38)If a dangerous object has been found, security should be summoned. 52

54 Davis against content relativism and dyadic contextualism (but not going far enough) ‘If indicative conditionals have anything like the Stalnaker semantics (…), there is no need to explain away the fact that if one speaker says ‘If A, C’ and another says, ‘It is not the case that if A, C’, then they are disagreeing with each other and one party has to be wrong. For on such a semantics, the two speakers are expressing incompatible propositions.’ Davis (2013: 37) 53

55 Our examples Overt conditional (9)Be great if you would do that. (6) There are biscuits on the sideboard if you want some. (39)If you don’t mind me saying so, you look dreadful in this frock. No overt conditional (40)Snowing? Let’s go skiing. (37)Touch his iPad and he will scream. (5)The dog might bark. The postman might run away. (Guugu Yimithirr) 54

56 Various types of conditional thought? “The varied and numerous uses of ‘if’ in everyday language (…) all have something in common: the listener is invited to suppose or imagine a hypothetical state of affairs.” “Inferences may be deductive, probabilistic, or pragmatic, with both implicit and explicit cognitive systems playing their part.” Evans & Over (2004: ) 55

57 Changing mental states of the interlocutors; suppositions Indicative: (41)If Jim cheats, he will be found out. Subjunctive: (42)If Jim had cheated, he would have been found out. Interrogative: (43)Everyone wondered if Jim had cheated. cf. Byrne & Johnson-Laird 2010; Starr

58 Suppositions as primary or secondary meanings (22)Now if you’d like to put on your helmet. 57

59 Conditionals in Default Semantics  K.M. Jaszczolt, 2005, Default Semantics: Foundations of a Compositional Theory of Acts of Communication, Oxford: Oxford University Press.  K. M. Jaszczolt, ‘Default Semantics’. In: B. Heine and H. Narrog (eds). The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Analysis. Oxford: Oxford University Press

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62 sources of information types of processes 61

63 Mapping between sources and processes WK  SCWD or CPI SC  SCWD or CPI WS  WS (logical form) SD  CPI IS  CD DS makes use of the processing model and it indexes the components of  with a subscript standing for the type of processing. 62

64 ‘The imperfect conditional perfection’ Fig. 3.  for ‘If you mow the lawn, I will give you five dollars.’ 63 

65 Compositionality on the level of interaction of processes (interactive compositionality) Different from: Frege’s compositionality ‘Gestaltist’, pragmatic compositionality (Recanati 2004) Compositionality of thought >> compositionality of language in Embodied Construction Grammar (e.g. Feldman’s 2010) 64

66 Conditionals in Interactive Semantics K. M. Jaszczolt, in progress, Interactive Semantics, Oxford: Oxford University Press. 65

67 Representing conditional thought (two dimensions) 1. p  ? PM ‘If you leave the tea on a wobbly table…’ 2. p  ? SM ‘If you’d like to put on your helmet.’ PM: ‘Please put your helmet on.’ 3. p  q WS, PM ‘If it rains, we will stay at home.’ 4. p  q WS, SM ‘If you are hungry, there is food in the fridge.’ PM: ‘Help yourself to food.’ 5. p  q , PM ‘Touch his iPad and he will scream.’ PM: ‘If you touch his iPad, he will scream.’ ? 6. p  q , SM ‘Please put your helmet on.’ SM: ‘If you put the helmet on, you will be safer.’ 66

68 Fig. 4.  for 1. p  ? PM ‘If you leave the tea on a wobbly table…’ 67 

69 Fig. 5.  for 2. p  ? SM ‘If you’d like to put on your helmet.’ PM: ‘Please put your helmet on.’ 68 

70 Fig. 6.  for 5. p  q , PM ‘Touch his iPad and he will scream.’ 69 

71 Conclusions The meaning of the utterance is attributable to the result of the interaction of information coming from different sources identified in Default/Interactive Semantics. The diversity of (i) uses to which conditional if can be put and (ii) ways of expressing conditional meaning can be represented in a radical contextualist account (IS). The semantics of conditionals is best pursued when conditional thought is adopted as the object of study, where such conditional thoughts constitute primary or secondary meaning of an utterance that is expressed by a conditional or other sentence form. 70

72 Select references Bonnefon, J.-F. & G. Politzer ‘Pragmatics, mental models and one paradox of the material conditional’. Mind & Language Byrne, R. M. J. & P. N. Johnson-Laird ‘Conditionals and possibilities’. In: M. Oaksford & N. Chater (eds). Cognition and Conditionals: Probability and Logic in Human Thinking. Oxford University Press Cappelen, H. & J. Hawthorne Relativism and Monadic Truth. Oxford University Press. Davis. W. A ‘Dyadic contextualism and content relativism’. Intercultural Pragmatics Declerck, R. & S. Reed Conditionals: a Comprehensive Empirical Analysis. Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter. Edgington, D ‘Commentary’ to Woods Elder, C ‘The underlying conditionality of conditionals which do not use if’. Cambridge Occasional Papers in Linguistics 6. Evans, J. St B. T. & D. E. Over If. Oxford University Press. Evans, N. and S.C. Levinson ‘The myth of language universals: Language diversity and its importance for cognitive science’. Behavioral and Brain Sciences

73 Feldman, J ‘Embodied language, best-fit analysis, and formal compositionality. Physics of Life Reviews von Fintel, K. and L. Matthewson ‘Universals in semantics’. The Linguistic Review Grice, H. P ‘Indicative conditionals’. Reprinted in 1989, Studies in the Way of Words. Harvard University Press Jaszczolt, K. M Default Semantics: Foundations of a Compositional Theory of Acts of Communication. Oxford University Press. Jaszczolt, K. M ‘Default Semantics’. In: B. Heine and H. Narrog (eds). The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Analysis. Oxford University Press Jaszczolt, K.M. in progress. Interactive Semantics. Oxford University Press. Klinedinst, N. & D. Rothschild ‘Connectives without truth tables’. Natural Language Semantics Kratzer, A ‘Conditionals’. Reprinted in 2012, Modals and Conditionals. Oxford University Press Lycan, W. G Real Conditionals. Oxford: Clarendon Press. MacFarlane, J ‘Making sense of relative truth’. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society

74 Over, D.E., J. St B. T. Evans & S. Elqayam ‘Conditionals and non-constructive reasoning’. In: M. Oaksford & N. Chater (eds). Cognition and Conditionals: Probability and Logic in Human Thinking. Oxford University Press Recanati, F Literal Meaning. Cambridge University Press. Stalnaker, R. C. 1975, ‘Indicative conditionals’. Reprinted in 1999, Context and Content. Oxford University Press Starr, W. B ‘Conditionals and questions’. Manuscript, NYU. Sweetser, E From Etymology to Pragmatics. Cambridge University Press. Woods, M Conditionals. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 73


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