Presupposition and Anaphora

Ernie Lepore and Matthew Stone

in Imagination and Convention

Published in print December 2014 | ISBN: 9780198717188
Published online March 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780191785931 | DOI:
Presupposition and Anaphora

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This chapter explores an important class of interpretive dependencies often attributed to general pragmatic principles: temporal connections between successive sentences in narrative discourse. The chapter argues that such cases are better characterized in grammatical terms through models of discourse anaphora (a representation that allows elements of logical form to have dependent interpretations across sentences), and presupposition (elements of meaning that constrain how anaphora is resolved). The chapter explains why such models are necessary and why they must be part of speakers' grammars. The chapter concludes by considering the broader dialectic that researchers have used to defend pragmatic analyses. Grammatical explanations of temporal interpretation, and other dependencies in discourse that depend on the dynamics of presupposition and anaphora, derive their ambiguities rather than stipulating them, and so do not fall prey to the criticisms that are often voiced against ambiguity accounts in the Gricean program.

Keywords: presupposition; anaphora; temporal interpretation; narrative; ambiguity; implicature conversational; pragmatics

Chapter.  5083 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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