Filippo Domaneschi, Elena Carrea

Triggers and failure. A psycholinguistic approach

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Presuppositions; Presupposition Triggers; Presupposition Failure; Update Semantics; Experimental Pragmatics.

When a speaker utters a sentence p containing a presupposition trigger that activates a presupposition q, and q does not belong to the common ground of presuppositions, it is a case of presupposition failure. When it occurs, speakers are supposed to repair the failure in order to make sense of the utterance. According to Glanzberg, there are two categories of triggers: those activating strong presuppositions lead to obligatory repair, while triggers generating weak presuppositions simply require an optional repair. In this paper we present a psycholinguistic experiment supporting the idea that, depending on the kind of trigger in use, processing the information conveyed by a presupposition can be either optional or mandatory.

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