Article

# Conditional Truth and Future Reference

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## Abstract

This paper proposes a compositional model-theoretic account of the way the interpretation of indicative conditionals is determined and constrained by the temporal and modal expressions in their constituents. The main claim is that the tenses in both the antecedent and the consequent of an indicative conditional are interpreted in the same way as in isolation. This is controversial for the antecedents of predictive conditionals like ‘If he arrives tomorrow, she will leave’, whose Present tense is often claimed to differ semantically from that in their stand-alone counterparts, such as ‘He arrives tomorrow’. Under the unified analysis developed in this paper, the differences observed in pairs like these are explained by interactions between the temporal and modal dimensions of interpretation. This perspective also sheds new light on the relationship between ‘non-predictive’ and ‘epistemic’ readings of indicative conditionals.

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... We propose that an analysis based on the semantic-pragmatic notion of settledness (e.g. Thomason & Gupta 1980;Kaufmann 2002Kaufmann , 2005 constitutes an essential first step toward accounting for tense/mood variation across different syntactic contexts in a way that unites disparate linguistic descriptions. Specifically, an analysis based on settledness captures the utility of using tense/mood to convey pragmatic information about speaker confidence in the realization of future eventualities. ...
... Thus, given the overlap between when-and if -clauses, it is to be expected that future-referring subordinate clauses with if and when would allow similar morphosyntactic contrasts that enable speakers to encode their beliefs about the future. Kaufmann's (2002Kaufmann's ( , 2005 work on settledness and presumed settledness began with English conditionals of different sorts, such as those exemplified in (4-5) above. However, for our purposes, we will only be examining future-framed conditional sentences, i.e. those whose protases refer to verbal eventualities located posterior to speech time. ...
... Since all of the morphosyntactic contrasts of interest here involve the unrealized future, presumed settledness is the notion we are concerned with, and we use the terms "settledness" and "presumed settledness" interchangeably from here on for convenience. Furthermore, as the formalism in 6 indicates, we use "presumed settledness" or "presumption of settledness" to refer to the belief that a future eventuality will be instantiated, not merely that the question is settled one way or the other (cf.Kaufmann 2002Kaufmann , 2005. 5 It is important to note that presumed settledness is concerned with speaker belief, rather than knowledge, since we are interested in the unknowable future. Our use of the terms belief and doxastic are intentional and contrast withJohnson's (2016) treatment of imperatives as conditioned by epistemicity, a point to which we return in section 5. v ...
Chapter
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Cross-linguistic research on tense/mood variation typically analyzes specific morphosyntactic environments separately and, as a result, a range of explanations have been put forth which apply, for example, only to conditionals or imperatives. We propose that an analysis based on the semantic-pragmatic notion of settledness (e.g. Thomason & Gupta 1980; Kaufmann 2002, 2005) can account for tense/mood variation across different syntactic contexts in a way that unites disparate linguistic descriptions. Specifically, an analysis based on settledness captures the utility of using tense/mood to convey pragmatic information about speaker confidence in the realization of future eventualities. We analyze pairs of contrasting forms across several Romance languages: future-framed adverbials, imperatives, and conditionals. While only some of these forms make inherent reference to temporal distinctions such as present and future-some reflect modal and others person differences-we argue that the pragmatic motivation for the alternations is the same in all cases: they encode and reflect speaker judgments about the presumed settledness of the future eventuality under consideration, operationalized in terms of the related notions of speaker certainty, immediacy, and temporal specificity. The theoretical advantage of our account lies in the way it unites disparate descriptions of morphosyntactic phenomena across languages. Instead of analyzing them separately and by individual language, and treating them in terms of immediacy, epistemic certainty, or other diverse notions, analyzing this variation in terms of settledness brings these phenomena together under one overarching pragmatic concept with clear communicative motivations.
... We provide evidence from of scope interactions that future reference is introduced by an independent operator as opposed to modal elements. In addition, we provide evidence that FUT is locally licensed, as opposed to globally (e.g., Kaufmann, 2005;Kaufmann et al., 2006;Bohnemeyer, 2009). In Chapter 6, we discuss a number of additional constructions which are able to license future reference in a way which is compatible with the theory developed. ...
... Thirdly, the modal will does not always have a future interpretation (e.g., Kaufmann, 2005;Giannakidou and Mari, 2018;Frana and Menéndez-Benito, 2019;Ippolito and Farkas, 2019;Mihoc et al., 2019, a.m.o). ...
... Force accounts propose that the (in)ability of a modal to embed a future oriented proposition is due to the nature of certainty (Kaufmann, 2005;Kaufmann et al., 2006;Laca, 2015;Banerjee, 2018a,b;Williamson, 2019). 4 These accounts hold that not all modal bases are diverse with respect to their prejacent. ...
Conference Paper
The objective of this dissertation is to accurately describe and derive the distribution of future reference in English. In particular, the dissertation covers the following constructions in depth: (i) prejacents to modal auxiliaries (Chapter 2), (ii) (non)-finite complements to attribute predicates (Chapter 3), (iii) adverbial clauses including conditionals, causal/concessive clauses, and temporal clauses (Chapter 5). We propose that future reference in English is introduced by a covert temporal operator FUT (Matthewson, 2012; Giannakidou and Mari, 2018). This operator is an existential quantifier over times following the local evaluation time. We propose that the distribution of this operator is constrained by a contingency presupposition which is modeled as a condition, not on a world, but on a set of worlds, the modal context (Portner, 1997; Yalcin, 2007; Anand and Hacquard, 2013). We attempt to derive this distribution by appealing to the grammatical principle of Analyticity (Gajewski, 2002, 2009; Abrusán, 2014; Del Pinal, 2019). Throughout the dissertation, we supply arguments for this particular approach. We provide evidence from of scope interactions that future reference is introduced by an independent operator as opposed to modal elements. In addition, we provide evidence that FUT is locally licensed, as opposed to globally (e.g., Kaufmann, 2005; Kaufmann et al., 2006; Bohnemeyer, 2009). In Chapter 6, we discuss a number of additional constructions which are able to license future reference in a way which is compatible with the theory developed. These are: (i) sentential adverbials, (ii) disjunctions, and (iii) restrictor arguments of universal quantifier phrases. Chapter 4 is dedicated to past-in-future readings of the perfect marker have under deontic modals and commitment predicates. There, a novel observation is made regarding an asymmetry between the acceptability of past-in-future readings of obligation modals on the one hand, and the unacceptability of past-in-future readings of permission modals on the other. We attribute this to an interaction between the presuppositions of performative modals and a grammatical principle of Redundancy (Meyer, 2015; Marty, 2017; Moracchini, 2018).
... The first phenomenon we will investigate is that of futurates (Lakoff 1971;Prince 1971;Vetter 1973;Dowty 1979;Kaufmann 2005;Kaufmann et al. 2006;Copley 2008a;2009;2014). Futurates have future reference in the absence of future-oriented morphology, with a "planned" or "settled" flavor, as in (1). ...
... First, the idea that futurates are themselves stative, interacting with progressive or imperfective aspect in the way that lexical statives do, suggests that progressive or imperfective aspect is not responsible for their meaning. So, contra Dowty (1977;1979); Kaufmann (2005);Copley (2008a;2009), but following Copley (2014), their meaning is not associated with any overt morphology. The lack of morphology is a clue that the logical form of futurates is actually quite simple. ...
... If there is a future-oriented temporal adverbial, (26) is impossible and (27) must be used instead. It is effectively an implementation of the idea in Kaufmann (2005) that there is a reinterpretation or remedy of such sentences which allows them to be about a plan or a schedule; that is, about an intentional state. ...
Article
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There are a number of phenomena where an apparent animacy requirement exceptionally admits some inanimate causers as felicitous. In this paper I argue that these should be explained not by a syntactically visible animacy feature but rather by a “what-can-cause-what” approach. In this kind of approach, judgments of felicity occur exactly when, conceptually speaking, the causing eventuality is able to cause the effect eventuality. I show how a what-can-cause-what approach for futurates and have causatives explains their felicitous inanimate causer exceptions, as well as other behavior such as interactions with aspect, using a novel notion of “dispositional causation”. The dispositions in question include both intentions of animate entities and physical tendencies. Dispositions, as well as the holders of dispositions and the causal relation, can either be represented explicitly in the syntactic structure, or can be merely implicitly available, through the accommodation of a conceptual model of dispositional structure.
... The problem of tense in conditionals is a difficult one, and I do not discuss the literature in great detail here (within the linguistics literature, see Iatridou, 2000;Arregui, 2007;Ippolito, 2002;Kaufmann, 2005;Romero, 2014;Schulz, 2008Schulz, , 2014, among many others). 17 At least two classes of analyses have emerged to deal with the kind of data found in (31)-(33). ...
... Certain authors argue that the present tense in conditional antecedents like (31) either has a different meaning than in regular matrix assertions or is simply absent, that is, the antecedent is not really a tensed clause, despite the presence of overt tense morphology (Crouch, 1993;Dudman, 1984Dudman, , 1989. Others argue for a generalized non-past or future semantics of the present tense for all its uses (Gennari, 2003;Kaufmann, 2005;Quirk et al., 1985). Under this view, the present tense does not restrict the reference time to be strictly equal to the utterance time; rather, the reference time can be any time that is not before the utterance time, that is, in the present or the future. ...
... High tide is at 8:55 tomorrow. Kaufmann (2005) subsumes all of the planning/scheduling futurate readings together under the more general notion of "settledness" or certainty to account for cases like (1); see also Copley (2018) for a recent analysis of these cases that crucially invokes the notion of dispositional causation. ...
Article
The nature of future temporal reference has long posed a challenge to linguistic theories of temporal interpretation. On the one hand, the future would seem to be the mirror image of the past on a linear timeline. On the other hand, the future is inherently non‐factual, suggesting a modal analysis of the future that is non‐symmetrical with the past and the present. Cross‐linguistic studies of temporal reference have furthermore uncovered much variation in the strategies used to express future interpretation, and this variation cross‐cuts the tensed/tenseless language divide. This article focuses on two aspects of future interpretation: (a) the semantics of future markers and the division of labor between the temporal and modal semantics encoded in them and (b) the availability of future interpretations without overt future morphology. The cross‐linguistic picture suggests that a modal treatment of the future may be a semantic universal, though certain cases that appear to challenge this generalization will be discussed and require future research.
... Work by Condoravdi (2002), Kaufmann (2005), Kaufmann, Condoravdi, andHarizanov (2006), andWerner (2003; aims at accounting for this correlation by formally distinguishing between at least two types of modal bases, and by formulating a pragmatic felicity condition (the "diversity condition") on the structure of suitable modal backgrounds. Metaphysical (or "objective") modal bases have the structure of the "branching futures" time graph (see "Reference sem066 to Future Events: Sea Battles"; Steedman 1997; Thomason 1984). ...
... 5 According to this formulation, it is temporal orientation that determines -at least partially -the choice of modal base. This is the perspective adopted by Condoravdi (2002) and Kaufmann (2005). It contrasts with Werner's (2003; approach, insofar as the latter tries to derive the temporal configuration from the type of modality. ...
... differ in the truth value assigned to a proposition, even when its truth value depends on facts not later than t. 4. Interpreting a modal operator against the background of a nondiverse modal base can be shown to yield a number of anomalies: equivalence between modalized and non-modalized assertions (Condoravdi 2002), vacuousness of the ordering among worlds asserted by bouletic operators (Heim 1992) or stipulated by the ordering source (Werner 2003), vacuous truth of conditionals or equivalence between conditionals and their consequents (Kaufmann 2005). The intuition is that the diversity condition reflects a general interpretive strategy for avoiding such anomalies. ...
Chapter
This chapter concentrates on the interaction between modal verbs and tense–aspect operators. It explores the question of the link between types of modality and temporal configurations by adopting a precise framework for the analysis of temporal configurations in modal environments and by tracing the development of the hypothesis of a structural difference between epistemic and non‐epistemic modals.
... I propose that future interpretations contain a modal woll component, which, structurally, I take to be a mirror image of Perfect (for definitions of woll and analyses that integrate woll into the composition of finite future in English see also Abusch 1985, Copley 2002, Kaufmann 2005. More specifically, I follow Condoravdi's (2002) proposal that modals expand the time of evaluation, where woll is a necessity modal, with the definition given in (47). ...
... Finally, I will make a suggestion regarding how the future-orientation in the above forms can be captured. I follow Kaufmann (2005) who, on the basis of the distribution of tenses in English conditionals, argues that conditional clauses introduce a deictic center other than the UT with respect to which the events are ordered. Given that in Serbian, forms containing Perfect can occur in conditional (and temporal) clauses, I propose that, in order to be licensed in futureoriented contexts, these forms must be anchored to a particular temporal center in the future. ...
... Kaufmann (2005) does not discuss temporal clauses, but the data in English seem to pattern with conditionals in terms of the interplay of temporal distribution. Since it seems to be the case that conditionals and temporal clauses behave alike in Serbian, at this point I believe that they can be unified under the same analysis (pending a thorough investigation). ...
Article
This dissertation investigates syntactic and semantic properties of the aspectual-temporal domain, arguing that TP is not universal. Chapter 1 assumes a cross-linguistic structural difference in the nominal domain with DP projected only in languages with overt articles, and explores the idea that the difference has a clausal parallel, with TP being the correlate of DP. By postulating a link in terms of morphological realization of projections, I propose TP is projected only in languages with overt temporal morphology; languages without it lack TP. Correlating the presence of DP and TP provides the right split regarding finiteness mismatches in VP-ellipsis (Chapter 2) and aspectual tenses (Chapter 4). Chapter 2 examines VP-ellipsis under finiteness mismatches between the elided and antecedent VP. I show languages differ in its availability, arguing that the explanation here lies in the presence/absence of the TP-layer: only no-TP languages allow finiteness mismatches. In TP-languages, the lack of identity in the T-feature in such cases violates the feature-identity requirement for ellipsis. Chapter 3 discusses VP-ellipsis under aspectual mismatches in Serbian, showing that VP-ellipsis is restricted by aspect, not finiteness, thus supporting the claim from Chapter 2 that Serbian is a no-TP language. This Chapter also provides new insights regarding the phasal partitioning of clauses and proposes a phase-based parallelism requirement on ellipsis. Chapter 4 investigates the semantic consequences of the presence/absence of TP. I show that, in the absence of TP, temporal interpretation can be derived by aspectual and modal components. Furthermore, the no-TP analysis accounts for various non-deictic temporal interpretations, as shown for Serbian. This Chapter also demonstrates that Serbian and Bulgarian differ regarding aspectual tenses, arguing that the difference stems from the presence of TP in Bulgarian, and its absence in Serbian. Chapters 4-5 explore semantic distribution of various verbal forms; I show that these forms are often misclassified, calling for their re-examination. By examining verbal morphology of a number languages, Chapter 5 establishes a correlation between temporal morphology and the presence/absence of TP in a language, which is then postulated as the main criterion in establishing the TP/no-TP language distinction: languages without temporal morphology lack TP.
... Section 2.1 reviews the literature on the syntax and semantics of tense, with particular attention paid to the English tense system. Crucially, in line with Kaufmann (2005) and Klecha (2016), we hold the view that the English tense is morpho-syntactically and semantically Past/Non-Past, rather than having a three-way distinction as traditionally assumed. Section 2.2 engages with the debate on Chinese as a "tenseless" language, bringing together arguments for or against a covert tense despite the lack of overt past tense marking. ...
... 37). Indeed, English is/are can be used for events in the present as well as (scheduled events) in the future; in other words, it is not necessarily restricted to now, 2 but should be characterised as referring to non-past (Kaufmann, 2005;Klecha, 2016). ...
Preprint
... The present paper is an attempt to address these questions and to draw some preliminary conclusions that can guide further research. The modality strategies observed in Germanwhich we focus on from now on-make it necessary to assume that there is a modal structure in the conditional, following Giannakidou (2021) (see Kaufmann, 2005 for an earlier analysis to that end), and that this modal structure is responsible for the bias. In Sect. ...
... The MUST prejacent will be true in Ideal worlds at a future time that includes t u (t u , ∞). For more discussion on future shifting and the nonveridicality of MUST, see Giannakidou and Mari for details; for a related analysis of the modalized tense above, see Kaufmann (2005). The key observation here is that only in Ideal worlds is p true. ...
Article
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The concept of bias is familiar to linguists primarily from the literature on questions. Following the work of Giannakidou and Mari (Truth and Veridicality in Grammar and Thought: Modality, Mood, and Propositional Attitudes, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2021), we assume “nonveridical equilibrium” (implying that p and ¬p as equal possibilities) to be the default for epistemic modals, questions and conditionals. The equilibrium of conditionals, as that of questions, can be manipulated to produce bias (i.e., reduced or higher speaker commitment ). In this paper, we focus on three kinds of modal elements in German that create bias in conditionals and questions: the adverb wirklich ‘really’, the modal verb sollte ‘should’, and conditional connectives such as falls ‘if/in case’. We conducted two experiments collecting participants’ inference about speaker commitment in different manipulations, Experiment 1 on sollte/wirklich in ob- questions and wenn- conditionals, and Experiment 2 on sollte/wirklich in wenn/falls/ V1-conditionals. Our findings are that both ob- questions and falls- conditionals express reduced speaker commitment about the modified (antecedent) proposition in comparison to wenn- conditionals, which did not differ from V1 - conditionals. In addition, sollte/wirklich in the antecedent of conditionals both create negative bias about the antecedent proposition. Our studies are among the first that deal with bias in conditionals (in comparison to questions) and contribute to furthering our understanding of bias.
... In section 2, we present the methods and results of an experimental survey of the two competing 2SG imperative forms in Brazilian Portuguese and show that they are sensitive to the temporal reference time of the situation depicted in the command. In section 3, we broaden the scope of inquiry to other kinds of contrasts that get reflected in BP imperative choice and argue that the choice process can be modelled as one that is determined by the concept of presumed settledness (Kaufmann 2002(Kaufmann , 2005Hoff 2019Hoff , 2020Hoff & Schwenter 2021), and therefore fits neatly into a pattern of variability found in other realms of the grammar. Section 4 provides concluding thoughts and contributions of the study. ...
... Within the framework of branching time, only past eventualities can therefore be settled; to speak of the definitionally unrealized future as in the case of imperatives or of the futureframed adverbials and conditionals to be discussed below, we must appeal instead to the notion of presumed settledness (cf. Kaufmann 2002Kaufmann , 2005 since outcomes are not fixed at speech time and a given future eventuality may never occur. Presumed settledness, then, is the notion that in every future world compatible with the speaker's set of beliefs at speech time the eventuality in question necessarily occurs. ...
Conference Paper
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When languages have more than one dedicated imperative, the distinct forms often correspond to different person/number combinations. But what happens when there is variation between two forms for the same person/number combination, e.g. 2nd person singular? This chapter analyzes the competing 2SG imperatives in Brazilian Portuguese (BP), which illustrate this situation. BP permits this option in both affirmative and negative contexts, where the historical imperative tu form for 2SG alternates with the 3SG present subjunctive form used with the 2SG pronoun você (cf. Lamberti & Schwenter 2018). Through the multivariate analysis of an experimental survey, we argue that the variation between the two forms can be accounted for in terms of the semantic-pragmatic notion of presumed settledness (Hoff 2019), i.e. speaker confidence about how the future will unfold, and can be operationalized in terms of contextual characteristics such as markers of temporal immediacy and addressee specificity. More broadly, we suggest that these characteristics are relevant to accounting for contrasts between imperative forms across languages such as those with "delayed/deferred imperatives" (Aikhenvald 2014).
... • When dealing with the future, we speak of presumed settledness (cf. Kaufmann 2002Kaufmann , 2005)-a speaker's presentation of an eventuality as guaranteed to occur. ...
... • Anecdotal evidence shows that tense/mood variation is seen in FFAs in other varieties of Spanish, as well as in Canadian French: Future-framed conditionals • Kaufmann's (2002• Kaufmann's ( , 2005 work on settledness and presumed settledness began with his analysis of English conditionals of various sorts. ○ E.g. ...
Conference Paper
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... no TP) even though they can express a futuristic meaning. How can syntactic representation express the future irrealis interpretation in the absence of TP? Wurmbrand (2014) adopts the spirit of Condoravdi (2002), Kaufmann (2005), and Copley (2009) and claims that future infinitives contain a future modal operator woll instead of a future tense feature. The semantic function of woll is to express posterior modality (Wurmbrand 2014: 412). ...
Article
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This paper conducts a detailed syntactic analysis of control structures in Amharic and sheds light on the current approaches to their syntactic representation and the operation thereof. Amharic control structures consist of the following components: (i) they are marked by the specific clause marker (CM) 'l?-'; (ii) the control clause always contains an imperfective verb; (iii) the control predicate is fully inflected by phi-features which are coindexical to the matrix subject; (iv) the subject of the control clause is a PRO; and (v) only exhaustive subject control is licensed. Amharic control poses a challenge to Landau (2014)’s proposal that the control possibility stems from particular combinations of tense and agreement features of the control predicate. Instead we claim that Amharic data fit better in the analysis of future infinitives (Wurmbrand 2014) and prospective aspect (Kratzer 2011; Matthewson 2012). In addition, the PRO-analysis of Amharic control also entails that the Movement Theory of Control (MTC) is disfavored.
... So, among the contexts compatible with the speaker's 22 The assumption that the antecedents in (41)-(42) are under the future tense operator at LF may be unnecessary to account for the fact that they are about a future time. See Kaufmann (2005) for a proposal that accounts for the future reference of conditional antecedents which bear present tense morphology consistently with the assumption that the underlying tense is also present. This point, however, is orthogonal to the point we are making here and we will leave it aside. ...
Article
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The 3sg pronouns “he” and “she” impose descriptive gender conditions (being male/female) on their referents. These conditions are standardly analysed as presuppositions (Cooper in Quantification and syntactic theory, Reidel, Dordrecht, 1983; Heim and Kratzer in Semantics in generative grammar, Blackwell, Oxford, 1998). Cooper argues that, when 3sg pronouns occur free, they have indexical presuppositions: the gender condition must be satisfied by the pronoun’s referent in the actual world. In this paper, we consider the behaviour of free 3sg pronouns in conditionals and focus on cases in which the pronouns’ gender presuppositions no longer seem to be indexical and project locally instead. We compare these cases to previously reported shifty readings of indexicals in so-called “epistemic conditionals” (Santorio in Philos Rev 121(3):359–406, 2012) and propose a unified account of locally projected gender presuppositions and shifty indexicals based on the idea that indicative conditionals are Kaplanian monsters.
... , the last few years have seen a rise of interest in conditionals and their compositional semantics. Indicative conditionals have recently been analysed byKaufmann (2005) andGrønn & von Stechow (2011a). Subjunctive and counterfactual conditionals have been addressed inIatridou (2000),Ippolito (2003Ippolito ( , 2013, Arregui (2009),Grønn & von Stechow (2009, 2011b), von Stechow & Grønn (2008 and of course inSchulz (2014). ...
Thesis
This thesis contains semantic analyses for hypothetical and counterfactual conditionals in English and German. The analyses are an extension of Schulz (2014) as they can now be applied to German conditionals, too. Further topics that are addressed in this thesis: the ungrammaticality of "would" in English antecedents, why German learners of English often make the mistake of putting "would" in the antecedent & crosslinguistic data that show that there is no one-to-one mapping between counterfactual marking and counterfactual meaning.
... In Kratzer's treatment of epistemic modals, the modal base consists of a body of known information while the ordering source can be a body of information that is more or less reliable. Second, Context-inclusion rules out the historical modal base proposed by Condoravdi (2001), Ippolito (2006), Kaufmann (2005) and Khoo (2015), among others. A historical modal base is consistent only with worlds that are identical to the world of evaluation up until the time of evaluation, and may diverge only with respect to what is the case in the future. ...
... Cross-linguistically, futurity in conditional antecedents is often derived without future morphology. For discussion, see Kaufmann (2005), i.a. 6 It is standard for dim to precede the complementizer wil (Rigsby 1986:280;Tarpent 1987:420); thanks to Henry Davis p.c. for pointing this out. ...
... Wurmbrand (2014) assumes future tense to be a complex, composite tense, made up of (i) a true Tense feature, either present tense (PRES) or past tense (PAST), and (ii) an abstract modal operator woll, which yields posteriority ( Abusch 1985, see also Thomason 1970Condoravdi 2002;Copley 2002;Kaufmann 2005). In English, PRES+woll is overtly realised as will, and PAST+woll as would. ...
Thesis
In a series of works, Landau (1999, 2000) defends a typology of obligatory control predicates that distinguishes between verbs of exhaustive control (EC) and verbs of partial control (PC). These distinct classes are furthermore associated with a number of robust empirical correlations that remain consistent across clausal complement constructions in a number of different languages. This dissertation is foremost an investigation of the empirical effects of the EC/PC split as it applies to non-clausal, non-canonical complement domains, with specific focus on event-denoting nominalisations. First, it is discovered that the effects of EC as they exist in clausal environments also manifest in controlled English de-verbal nominalisations. Furthermore, it is found that the effects of PC are almost entirely absent in this same environment, save for the temporal properties associated with the selecting predicate. We thus defend a framework of control based on Wurmbrand (1998, 2001, 2002), such that the EC/PC split corresponds to a semantic/syntactic division of labour, respectively. // We first provide a fundamental analysis of English de-verbal nominalisation based on the novel observation that argument-structure does not disambiguate event-denoting nominals (contra Grimshaw 1990). Based on work by Adger (2012) and Moulton (2014), we lay out a framework in which compositionality – not verbal argument-structure – is at the heart of the nominal paradigm. We then propose an account of semantic control, as invoked by verbs of EC. First, we provide a simplified semantic representation of aspectual predicates, such that control is entailed. Furthermore, we show that this semantic analysis – when combined with an (anti-)causative syntax – can derive the raising/control ambiguity without further stipulation. Next, we motivate an account of try, such that the predicate encodes two separate arguments: an action and an intention. We provide an analysis such that any interpretable control effects result from the relation between these two arguments.
... Like Ippolito (2013), many linguists have used a branching-time framework to formalize the relation between tense and modality (e. g. Condoravdi 2002;Kaufmann 2005b;Arregui 2009;Laca 2012). In this section I will introduce the main ideas and explain how giving up one of the original assumptions by Thomason (1970) will allow us to come up with a definition of ESP that combines strengths of Iatridou (2000) with those of Ippolito (2013). ...
Article
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Many languages have past-and-counterfactuality markers such as English simple past. There have been various attempts to find a common definition for both uses, but I will argue in this paper that they all have problems with (a) ruling out unacceptable interpretations, or (b) accounting for the contrary-to-fact implicature of counterfactual conditionals, or (c) predicting the observed cross-linguistic variation, or a combination thereof. By combining insights from two basic lines of reasoning, I will propose a simple and transparent approach that solves all the observed problems and offers a new understanding of the concept of counterfactuality.
... Nonetheless, both have (inherited) an element of volitional modality. This matches with analyses (Abusch 1985(Abusch , 1988Condoravdi 2001;Kaufmann 2005; see also Todorović and Wurmbrand 2015a: 6) claiming that the English will-future is semantically made up of the modal force WOLL and the semantic PRESENT. In Bulgarian, both components seem to be fused in the case of šte, while WOLL combines with the PAST in the case of štjax. ...
Article
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This paper concerns Bulgarian da-constructions (daCs), phrasal structures that correspond to subjunctive or infinitival structures in other languages. In combining two theoretical contributions to the syntax and semantics of Bulgarian subjunctives, an attempt is made to reconsider the Bulgarian mood system, focussing on daCs. The crucial claim is that daCs mark the absence of the indicative being associated with the supposition of subject certainty (Siegel 2009). Accordingly, da is a semantically vacuous mood marker chosen when the indicative would cause a semantic failure. By adding Krapova’s (2001) distinction between [+T] and [-T] daCs, their correspondence to subjunctive or infinitival structures in other languages follows immediately.
... The English gloss in (6b) also brings to mind differences between Spanish conditional verbs and English would (where would is commonly analyzed as a combination of Past with an abstract modal woll, with will its present counterpart, e.g. Abusch 1997, Condoravdi 2002, 2003Kaufmann 2005. Spanish querría in (6a) closely corresponds to English would like. ...
Article
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This paper offers a compositional interpretation of Spanish simple conditional morphology ( cantaría ‘would sing’) in independent sentences set within the semantic situations framework. It proposes that Spanish simple conditional morphology is composed of (a) a past component that encodes a topic situation, (b) a universal future operator with either an epistemic flavor or a temporal (i.e. historical) flavor /accessibility, and (c) a universal imperfective operator with a variety of flavors. Based on the interactions of these three components, the paper develops derivations for (1) past-oriented inferential readings that distinguish Spanish from French and Italian, (2) future-oriented conditionals involving past plans, which are apparently shared with French and Italian, and (3) future-in-the-past conditionals, where Spanish appears to resemble French and differs from Italian.
... Within the field of semantics this is a topic that has gained more and more attention during the last 20 years. Recent publications include Kaufmann 2005 andGronn &von Stechow 2010 on the semantics of English indicative conditionals, and Iatridou 2000;Ippolito 2003Ippolito , 2006Ippolito , 2013Arregui 2007Arregui , 2009Stechow & Gronn 2008 on the semantics of English subjunctive conditionals. In line with these publications the present manuscript hopes to add to our understanding of the interaction of the semantics of conditionals with other operators occurring in conditional sentences. ...
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The topic of this paper is a problem concerning the interpretation of tense in conditionals: Fake Tense. Fake Tense refers to the observation that in English subjunctive conditionals the Simple Past, and sometimes also the Past Perfect, appear not to be interpreted as semantic past tense or past perfect. We will focus in particular on the function of the perfect in conditionals with fake past perfect. Two different lines of approach to fake tense can be distinguished in the literature: past-as-modal approaches (PaM) claim that the past tense markers receive in these contexts a modal interpretation; past-as-past approaches (PaP) propose that the past still receives a temporal interpretation, though it contributes in an unexpected way to the meaning of the sentences. We will first spell out a PaM approach based on a idea in Schulz (2014) and then argue that this approach is not convincing. This will be partly done based on two empirical studies concerning the form of generic counterfactuals/counterpossibles. We will then propose a PaP approach to fake perfect. This approach will build on an interventionist account of counterfactuals using causal structural models (Pearl 2000, 2013).
... Answering this question will require one to consider and compare existing theories of the temporal future (cf. Copley (2009), Kaufmann (2005, Cariani & Santorio (2017) among others). The second question concerns the differences among presumptive uses of the future cross-linguistically. Finally, we leave open the question of how PF compares with particles such as wohl in German or darou in Japanese, which have similar though not identical effects. ...
Article
This paper deals with the non-temporal use of the future in Italian knownas ‘epistemic’ or ‘presumptive’ (PF) in declaratives and interrogatives. We firstdistinguish PF from epistemic necessity and possibility, as well as from weaknecessity modals, providing in the process the main empirical challenges PF raises.We then propose and justify a semantic account that treats PF as a special normalitymodal that involves a subjective likelihood component. Since in our account theprejacent (the proposition in the scope of the modal) is at issue, the use of PF triggersthe implicature that the speaker is not in a position to appeal to what she knows inorder to support her commitment to the prejacent. This, we claim, is the source ofthe intuition that PF is often used to offer a “guess” relative to the question underdiscussion (QUD).
... past. Third and finally, for the sake of concreteness, we assume that a future indicative conditional is headed by a silent modal with a metaphysical modal base METAPHY and a stereotypical ordering source L (cf. Kaufmann (2005)). Adding ∃-closure to bind pro 1 and pro 4 , these ingredients give us LF (24) for our indirect report examples (21)/(23): ...
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Hypothetical conditionals like If you are hungry, your stomach is growling and ‘biscuit’ conditionals like If you are hungry, there is pizza in the fridge have been analysed as sharing the same syntactic and semantic template, differing only in the presence of an additional pragmatic inference leading to the ‘biscuit’ effect in the latter case (Franke 2009: a.o.). However, when considering their counterfactual versions, the two forms differ in the verbal morphological make-up of the consequent clause, which posits a challenge to the unified approach. The present papers develops an analysis of tense and mood morphology within the unified approach where the key idea is that counterfactuals biscuits involve breaking Sequence of Tense and so-called Sequence of Mood. Unacceptable biscuit and hypothetical forms are ruled out via pragmatic competition between weaker and stronger forms and via the Gricean Principle of Manner.
... 19 The restriction of the domain of F is nothing new in the debate. For instance, Kaufmann (2005) introduces, among the histories that radiate from a certain instant, an order relation that depends on their probability. Then, he claims that the will refers to the histories that have a certain (level of) probability of happening (see pp. 254-255). ...
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Non-bivalent semantics of the future tense assert that propositions regarding future contingents are neither true nor false. One of the most relevant non-bivalent semantics is supervaluationism (Thomason in Theoria 36(3):264–281, 1970; Thomason, in: Gabbay, Guenthner (eds) Handbook of philosophical logic, Springer, Berlin, 1984), which preserves important logical principles. Recently, non-bivalent semantics are under attack from some pragmatics arguments: these semantics would be incompatible with our practices of asserting future contingents and with the probability we ascribe to such assertions (Besson and Hattiangadi in Philosophical Studies 167(2):251–271, 2014; Cariani and Santorio in Mind 127(505):129–165, 2018). The aim of this paper is to defend supervaluationism against this kind of criticism. We argue that, if probability is interpreted as the subjective belief in a proposition and if a semantic contextualism is adopted, supervaluationism makes correct predictions concerning the norms that govern our practices of asserting future contingents. Obviously, other arguments can be proposed against supervaluationism, but they must be of a different kind, such as metaphysical arguments.
... Examples including "in a few minutes", "in the evening", and "tomorrow" were produced with irrealis and the prospective irrealis fo. Our reviewers suggested that cases of planned or settled future might play a role here (Kaufmann, 2005;Copley, 2009). Examples such as (15), however, which is concerned with the weather, suggest otherwise. ...
... Interestingly, the telic perfective aspect of (20) does not trigger a default hypothetical past interpretation, unlike in matrix clauses, but it gives rise to a futurenear-vivid interpretation (Iatridou 2000). Kaufmann (2005) has argued that indicative metaphysical conditionals have a future orientation even in the absence of overt will or zaa. It is therefore possible that this future orientation is built into the meaning of the conditional complementizer in/idán in Hausa. ...
Article
The paper presents a novel argument from Hausa (Chadic) for the analysis of counterfactual fake tense in terms of a lexically underspecified EXCL-operator (Iatridou 2000). Evidence comes from the facts (i.) that Hausa has no obligatory inflectional tense marking on the verb; and (ii.) that temporal anteriority and counterfactuality in Hausa are both expressed by a left-peripheral operator element with the segmental shape daa, which is then tonally disambiguated to temporal dâa and counterfactual dàa, respectively. The analysis is cast in von Prince's (2019) modified branching-world model of counterfactuals.
... Answering the first question requires comparing various existing theories of the temporal future (cf. Copley 2009;Kaufmann 2005;Condoravdi 2003; Cariani and Santorio 2018, among others), a task that is beyond the scope of this paper. For the time being, we can only offer some initial remarks. ...
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In this paper, we study the distribution and interpretation of a non-temporal use of the future tense in Italian, called ‘presumptive’ or ‘epistemic’, which we label here PF. We first distinguish PF from its closest modal relatives, namely epistemic necessity/possibility/likelihood modals, as well as weak necessity modals. We then propose an account of PF in declaratives and interrogatives that treats it as a special comparative subjective likelihood modal, and test its empirical predictions. A theoretical lesson drawn from this detailed study of the semantics of PF is that semantics needs sharpened theoretical tools to be able to capture the fine-grained distinctions languages make when it comes to signaling modulated epistemic commitment to a proposition.
... See, for example,Condoravdi (2001),Copley (2009),Kaufmann (2005),Cariani and Santorio (2018).9 See, for example,Iatridou (2000),Mackay (2019),Khoo (2015),Ippolito (2013),Romero (2014),Schulz (2014).10 ...
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In two‐dimensional semantics in the tradition of Davies and Humberstone, whether a singular term receives an epistemically shifted reading in the scope of a modal operator depends on whether the world considered as actual is shifted. This means that epistemically shifted readings should be available only in environments where an explicit contrast between the actual world and some counterfactual worlds cannot be made. In this paper, I argue that this is incorrect. Whether a singular term receives an epistemically shifted reading is independent of whether the world treated as actual is shifted. This, I argue, undermines the two‐dimensionalist account of epistemic shift. I then turn to the question how a positive view should handle these two phenomena separately. I argue for treating singular terms with a version of counterpart theory in which the difference between epistemically shifted and other readings is determined in the context of utterance.
... He is getting ready to inspect the troops and see that they are ready for the battle that will determine the fate of Europe. (Hornstein, 1990) A similar case can be made for FUTURE-IN-PAST, in which the contextual now can be understood as situated within an event described in the past (Kaufmann, 2005;Eckardt, 2017). ...
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Research spanning linguistics, psychology, and philosophy suggests that speakers and hearers are finely attuned to perspectives and viewpoints that are not their own, even though perspectival information is not encoded directly in the morphosyntax of languages like English. While some terms seem to require a perspective or a judge for interpretation (e.g., epithets, evaluative adjectives, locational PPs, etc.), perspective may also be determined on the basis of subtle information spanning multiple sentences, especially in vivid styles of narrative reporting. In this paper, I develop an account of the cues that are involved in evaluating and maintaining non-speaker perspectives, and present an economy-based discourse processing model of perspective that embodies two core principles. First, perspectives are subject to a “speaker-default,” but may shift to a non-speaker perspective if sufficient contextual cues are provided. Second, the processor follows the path of least resistance to maintaining perspective, opting to maintain the current perspective across sentences as long as the shifted perspective continues to be coherent. The predictions of the model are tested in a series of offline and online studies, manipulating the form of an attitude report and the tense of the sentence that follows. Implications for processing perspective and viewpoint in speech and narrative forms are explored.
... An analysis in terms of schedules can be agnostic about causality or intentionality. Kaufmann (2005), in his discussion of plain futurates, claims that they involve a null necessity modal. This modal, unlike the overt future modal will, lacks an ordering source, and so is generally too strong for future reference. ...
... English present also typically has a simultaneous interpretation, but the adjunct events are not necessarily interpreted as contemporaneous with UT or any other salient time. Adjunct present likewise does not show the properties of English futurate present, which requires a "plan" reading (Dowty 1979;Copley 2008;Kaufmann 2005). ...
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Tenses in English temporal adjunct clauses seem to show properties of both matrix and embedded tenses. On the one hand, they are often argued to be interpreted with respect to the time of utterance (Stump 1985; Arregui & Kusumoto 1998; Kubota et al. 2011). On the other hand, they are more constrained than matrix tenses, claimed to be limited to past tense when the matrix tense is past, and present when the matrix tense is future. I present evidence from the English perfect that adjunct clauses are always interpreted relative to the nearest c-commanding temporal operator, which can in principle give rise to both types of behaviors: adjunct tenses are interpreted relative to some temporal operator if within the scope of matrix tense, or they are interpreted relative to the time of utterance if they are outside the scope of matrix tense. What decides between these possibilities in a given clause are syntactic and pragmatic conditions on adjunction and the resulting interaction between the presuppositions introduced by the adjunct clause and the meanings of the temporal connectives. The result is that when the matrix clause is a non-perfect, adjunct tenses are always interpreted relative to the utterance time. When the matrix clause contains a perfect, however, adjunct tenses may be interpreted relative to the matrix tense operator.
Article
I develop a puzzle, the resolution of which, I argue, requires an unfamiliar distinction between two forms or senses of metaphysical modality, each bearing a different relationship to time. In one sense of ‘metaphysically possible’, it is metaphysically possible for it to be a time other than the time it is now; in another sense, this is not metaphysically possible.
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Expletive negation is a non-canonical negation marker whose distribution is limited, across languages, to a certain set of predicates: apprehensive attitude verbs (‘fear’) exceptive (‘unless’) and prospective connectives (‘before’), comparative clauses (‘more/ less than’). In synchrony, it proves difficult to determine (i) which formal property the heterogeneous set of predicates in the scope of which expletive negation occurs have in common and (ii) which kind of syntactic and semantic dependency to the matrix clause predicate it is involved in. This dissertation investigates those questions from a comparative and diachronic perspective.
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An indexical tense occurring in intensional domains, as in John believed that Mary is pregnant conveys a mismatch between the content reported and the content intuitively attributable to the believer: The actual belief does not seem to involve an indexical reference to the speech time. Current logicosemantic accounts of this mismatch propose a de re interpretation, e.g., there is a state in the real world, of which John believes something. Following Gennari’s (1999a; 2003) account, it is argued that current accounts do not capture multiple instances of belief attributions with indexical tenses and an alternative more flexible account is proposed. Specifically, indexical tenses need not be analyzed de re if the belief reports is considered as an attribution of an implicit belief, rather than an explicit one (Stalnaker 1999). Such attributions are felicitous if there is an inference pragmatically attainable in the common ground that allows the speaker to infer and assert the attributed content. The speaker infers the reported content making extra assumptions normally taken for granted. The account correctly predicts whether a given present or future attitude report is felicitous depending on the availability of the speaker’s inference.
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Theories of imperatives differ in how they aim to derive the distributional and functional properties of this clause type. One point of divergence is how to capture the fact that imperative utterances convey the speaker’s endorsement for the course of events described. Condoravdi & Lauer (2017) observe that conditionals with imperative consequents (conditionalized imperatives, CIs) are infelicitous as motivations of advice against doing something and take this as evidence for an analysis of imperatives as encoding speaker endorsement. We investigate CIs in further contexts and argue that their account in terms of preferential conflicts fails to capture the more general infelicity of CIs as motivations for or against doing something. We develop an alternative in which imperatives do not directly encode speaker preferences, but express modalized propositions and impose restrictions on the discourse structure (along the lines of Kaufmann, 2012). We show how this carries over to conditionalized imperatives to derive the behavior of CIs, and conclude with a discussion of more general problems regarding an implementation of conditional preferential commitments, an issue that can be avoided on our account of imperatives.
Article
This paper proposes that subjunctive in the complement of belief sen- tences in Italian expresses a relation between the attitude holder’s beliefs and the common ground. In contrast to most other Romance languages, ‘believe’ commonly and prescriptively takes subjunctive in Italian, though indicative is found as well, and as has been observed in the literature, the choice of indicative or subjunctive has semantic effects. We show that the indicative with ‘believe’ is used when the belief statement describes the personal mental state of the holder of the attitude, an interpretation that follows from the traditional Hintikkean semantics. In contrast, we show that subjunctive with ‘believe’ is used to mark a relation between the content of belief and the discourse context. To analyze these facts, we propose that the modal quantification present in attitude reports comes not from the attitude verb, but instead from the embedded verbal mood. What differentiates Italian from related languages where ‘believe’ only takes indicative, is that Italian allows the subjunctive to access the com- mon ground as a modal base, utilizing the verb’s doxastic background as an ordering source. The fact that subjunctive relates the common ground to the subject’s beliefs explains the discourse oriented meaning of this combination. We extend our analysis to several other predicates that show mood variation in Italian.
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This paper deals with conditional sentences in standard Japanese. The main focus is on the description of the usages of conditional endings and their interaction with tense and aspect rather than on theoretical or typological aspects of conditionals. The approach is cognitive and descriptive, rather than formal and theoretical although some references will be made to formal semantic approaches to conditionals. （This is not the final version. See the published paper for the final version.)
Chapter
The following paradigm, most closely associated with the work of Angelika Kratzer, dominates the literature on the semantics of modals: MUST is a universal quantifier over a contextually determined set of worlds, where $$\ulcorner$$MUST $$\phi \urcorner$$ is true just in case ϕ holds in each of these worlds. The quantifier is restricted via the setting of values for various contextual parameters relative to which the modal is interpreted. Notwithstanding its important virtues, I aim to show that the standard way of carrying out the paradigm overgenerates in a pretty severe way with prejacents with eventive predicates. The argument of this chapter concerns this overgeneration problem and can be broken down into two sub-claims: CLAIM 1: If context is responsible for setting the values of the parameters relative to which modals are semantically evaluated, then we can’t account for this common pattern in the interpretation of modal auxiliaries. CLAIM 2: These data provide independent support for recent revisionist approaches in linguistics, and places constraints on the way we think of context as influencing the interpretation of natural language modals.
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The paper addresses the meaning, usage, and morphological makeup of Aorist (AOR) and Imperfect (IPF) in Bulgarian. Following prior proposals, it is claimed that ipf specifies the topic time interval as open, giving rise to a "big situation" interpretation. This specification is also responsible for the fact that IPF can be used in non-real (conditional, optative, etc.) contexts. Moreover, ample evidence is produced that AOR is unmarked as compared to IPF. All things considered, aor turns out to be the "simple past" of Bulgarian.
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Utterances of simple sentences containing taste predicates (e.g. "delicious", "fun", "frightening") typically imply that the speaker has had a particular sort of first-hand experience with the object of predication. For example, an utterance of "The carrot cake is delicious" would typically imply that the speaker had actually tasted the cake in question, and is not, for example, merely basing her judgment on the testimony of others. According to one approach, this 'acquaintance inference' is essentially an implicature, one generated by the Maxim of Quality together with a certain principle concerning the epistemology of taste (Ninan 2014). We first discuss some problems for this approach, problems that arise in connection with disjunction and generalized quantifiers. Then, after stating a conjecture concerning which operators 'obviate' the acquaintance inference and which do not, we build on Anand and Korotkova 2018 and Willer and Kennedy Forthcoming by developing a theory that treats the acquaintance requirement as a presupposition, albeit one that can be obviated by certain operators.
Article
According to normative descriptions of Italian future-framed adverbial clauses, the future tense is the only option ( Quando verrai [F], ti presterò il libro ‘When you come, I’ll lend you the book’). However, the present tense may also be used ( Quando vieni [P], ti presto il libro ). I demonstrate that choice and acceptance of the present in future-framed adverbials are conditioned by the speaker’s presumption of settledness; that is, in every future world compatible with the speaker’s beliefs the eventuality necessarily occurs. The data come from an online questionnaire consisting of a forced-choice and an acceptability judgment task completed by 429 native speakers of Italian, and were analyzed using mixed-effects regression. Results show that the present is chosen most and rated highest when the future eventuality is presumed settled ([+certain, +immediate, +temporally specific]). These findings demonstrate that speakers use the present to express confidence in the realization of future eventualities.
Chapter
A. Kratzer’s “The Notional Category of Modality” (NCM) develops a unified analysis of modals and conditionals, which has come to be the classic approach to modality in linguistic semantics and beyond. This chapter presents an overview of NCM’s main contributions and clarifies the motivations behind particular analytical choices, concentrating on the role of conversational backgrounds in the theory. It also highlights new research that has enriched the framework or raised outstanding issues.
Article
Many languages assign additional conditional interpretations to apparently regular sentential conjunctions (conditional conjunctions, CCs). Following previous ideas (Kaufmann, Magdalena. 2018. Topics in conditional conjunctions. Invited talk at NELS , vol. 49. Cornell University; Starr, Will. 2018. Conjoining imperatives and declaratives. Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 21. 1159–1176), we provide additional support for the hypothesis that CCs involve topicalized first conjuncts. We argue that Japanese and Korean, which appear to lack CCs, in fact mark them quite transparently. Both languages combine sentential conjunctions with topic markers: Japanese -te=wa (standardly considered one of the language’s conditional connectives) and Korean -ko=nun (occurring naturally, not discussed in the literature). We show that Japanese conditional =to fits into the pattern of CCs as well: it is derived by topicalization of conjunctive =to . Conjunctive =to is normally restricted to NPs, but it can coordinate finite clauses so long as the finite verb does not precede =to (Koizumi, Masatoshi. 2000. String vacuous overt verb raising. Journal of East Asian Linguistics 9(3). 227–285). We argue that this requirement can be met in a topicalized clause carrying default tense; the resultant configuration is the conditional connective =to . Semantically, CCs are known to be more restricted than if -conditionals in not readily realizing epistemic conditionals. The elements - te=wa , =to , and -ko=nun are all subject to exactly this restriction, which we refine to exclude only non-predictive epistemics. Following the transparent structure in Japanese and Korean, we interpret CCs by predicating the regular conjunction distributively of the set of (contextually salient and epistemically accessible) situations described by the topicalized first conjunct. We argue that apparent cases of focus on or within the first conjunct of CCs constitute contrastive topics or corrections.
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This book is an extremely detailed and comprehensive examination of conditional sentences in English, using many examples from actual language-use. The syntax and semantics of conditionals (including tense and mood options) and the functions of conditionals in discourse are examined in depth, producing an all-round linguistic view of the subject which contains a wealth of original observations and analyses. Not only linguists specializing in grammar but also those interested in pragmatics and the philosophy of language will find this book a rewarding and illuminating source.
Book
With publication of the present volume, The University of Western Ontario Series in Philosophy of Science enters its second phase. The first fourteen volumes in the Series were produced under the managing editorship of Professor James J. Leach, with the cooperation of a local editorial board. Many of these volumes resulted from colloguia and workshops held in con­ nection with the University of Western Ontario Graduate Programme in Philosophy of Science. Throughout its seven year history, the Series has been devoted to publication of high quality work in philosophy of science con­ sidered in its widest extent, including work in philosophy of the special sciences and history of the conceptual development of science. In future, this general editorial emphasis will be maintained, and hopefully, broadened to include important works by scholars working outside the local context. Appointment of a new managing editor, together with an expanded editorial board, brings with it the hope of an enlarged international presence for the Series. Serving the publication needs of those working in the various subfields within philosophy of science is a many-faceted operation. Thus in future the Series will continue to produce edited proceedings of worthwhile scholarly meetings and edited collections of seminal background papers. How­ ever, the publication priorities will shift emphasis to favour production of monographs in the various fields covered by the scope of the Series. THE MANAGING EDITOR vii W. L. Harper, R. Stalnaker, and G. Pearce (eds.), lIs, vii.
Chapter
Conditionals are important and have always been considered to be so. In the times of the Greek poet KALLIMACHOS, even the crows worried about them: “Lo and behold how the crows on the roof-tops tell us by croaking which conditionals are true and also how we shall get reborn.”
Article
In this paper I shall propose a general model for tensed language, and then explore the introduction of conditionals and of two sorts of probabilities (measures of objective chance and of subjective ignorance). On the subjects of tenses and tensed conditionals, I build on the previous work by Richmond Thomason, but I shall attempt to provide an exposition which is self-contained.
Article
1. Preliminaries Geoffrey K. Pullum and Rodney Huddleston 2. Syntactic overview Rodney Huddleston 3. The verb Rodney Huddleston 4. The clause, I: mainly complements Rodney Huddleston 5. Nouns and noun phrases John Payne and Rodney Huddleston 6. Adjectives and adverbs Geoffrey K. Pullum and Rodney Huddleston 7. Prepositions and preposition phrases Geoffrey K. Pullum and Rodney Huddleston 8. The clause, II: mainly adjuncts Anita Mittwoch, Rodney Huddleston and Peter Collins 9. Negation Geoffrey K. Pullum and Rodney Huddleston 10. Clause type and illocutionary force Rodney Huddleston 11. Content clauses and reported speech Rodney Huddleston 12. Relative clauses and unbounded dependencies Rodney Huddleston, Geoffrey K. Pullum and Peter G. Peterson 13. Comparative constructions Rodney Huddleston 14. Non-finite and verbless clauses Rodney Huddleston 15. Coordination and supplementation Rodney Huddleston, John Payne and Peter G. Peterson 16. Information packaging Gregory Ward, Betty Birner and Rodney Huddleston 17. Deixis and anaphora Lesley Stirling and Rodney Huddleston 18. Inflectional morphology and related matters F. R. Palmer, Rodney Huddleston and Geoffrey K. Pullum 19. Lexical word-formation Laurie Bauer and Rodney Huddleston 20. Punctuation Geoffrey Nunberg, Ted Briscoe and Rodney Huddleston Further reading Index.
Article
The truthful speaker wants not to assert falsehoods, wherefore he is willing to assert only what he takes to be very probably true. He deems it permissible to assert that A only if P(A) is sufficiently close to 1, where P is the probability function that represents his system of degrees of belief at the time. Assertability goes by subjective probability.
Article
Epistemic must is used to present a conclusion. In this paper, I explore the hypothesis that this should be modeled computationally using the notion of argument presented by Simari and Loui [16]. An utterance of must p in conversational context is interpreted as asserting that the argument hA; pi is justied in . The parameter A provides a set of reasoning rules which, along with factual premises from which they derive p, must be salient in for the utterance to be felicitous. Simari and Loui's formulation describes a relationship of defeat between arguments. Thus, in this account as in previous ones, the conclusions presented by epistemic must may be defeasible. This proposal improves on previous accounts in three key respects. First, the criterion that the argument be justied ensures that the speaker believes p when uttering must p. Second, the requirement that the speaker intend the hearer to recover the argument helps to explain the distribution and of must in discourse and the accommodation sometimes involved in understanding uses of must. Third, the link between the claim made by must and a specic argument correctly predicts the variation in apparent force of the modal in dierent contexts: it varies according to the strength of the argument and the speaker's intentions in providing the argument. Because this interpretation for must incorporates restrictions based on salience into a frame-work designed to be relatively tractable, it may be uniquely suited for implementation.
Article
In recent years, two new and fundamentally different accounts of conditionals and their logic have been put forth, one based on nearness of possible worlds (Stalnaker, ‘A Theory of Conditionals’, 1968, this volume, pp. 41–55; Lewis, Counterfactuals, 1973) and the other based on subjective conditional probabilities (Adams, The Logic of Conditionals, 1975). The two accounts, I shall claim, have almost nothing in common, They do have a common logic within the domain on which they both pronounce, but that, as far as I can discover, is little more than a coincidence. Each of these disparate accounts, though, has an important application to natural language, or so I shall argue. Roughly, Adams’ probabilistic account is true of indicative conditionals, and a nearness of possible worlds account is true of subjunctive conditionals. If that is so, the apparent similarity of these two ‘if constructions hides a profound semantical difference.
Article
In Stalnaker [9] and in Stalnaker and Thomason [10], a theory of conditionals is presented that involves a “selection function”. Intuitively, the value of the function at a world is the world as it would be if a certain formula (the antecedent of a conditional) were true.
Article
Physics should have helped us to realize that a temporal theory of a phenomenon X is, in general, more than a simple combination of two components: the statics of X and the ordered set of temporal instants. The case in which all functions from times to world-states are allowed is uninteresting; there are too many such functions, and the theory has not begun until we have begun to restrict them. And often the principles that emerge from the interaction of time with the phenomena seem new and surprising. The most dramatic example of this, perhaps, is the interaction of space with time in relativistic space-time.
Article
The connection between the probabilities of conditionals and the corresponding conditional probabilities has long been explored in the philosophical literature, but its implementation faces both technical obstacles and objections on empirical grounds. In this paper I ?rst outline the motivation for the probabilistic turn and Lewis’ triviality results, which stand in the way of what would seem to be its most straightforward implementation. I then focus on Richard Jeffrey’s ’random-variable’ approach, which circumvents these problems by giving up the notion that conditionals denote propositions in the usual sense. Even so, however, the random-variable approach makes counterintuitive predictions in simple cases of embedded conditionals. I propose to address this problem by enriching the model with an explicit representation of causal dependencies. The addition of such causal information not only remedies the shortcomings of Jeffrey’s conditional, but also opens up the possibility of a uni?ed probabilistic account of indicative and counterfactual conditionals.
Article
The behavior of tenses in future contexts is quite peculiar. When a present tense is under the scope of a future auxiliary (will/would), the temporal location for events constrained by that tense is shifted forward. Although meet in (1) has present tense, the anticipated meeting events follow the utterance time.
Article
Karttunen observed that, if the complement of an attitude sentence presupposes p, then that sentence as a whole presupposes that the attitude-holder believes p. I attempt to derive some representative instances of this generalization from suitable assumptions about the lexical semantics of attitude predicates. The enterprise is carried out in a framework of context change semantics, which incorporates Stalnaker's suggestion that presupposition projection results from the stepwise fashion in which information is updated in response to complex utterances. The empirical focus is on predicates of desire and on the contribution of counterfactual mood.
Article
A conditional sentence expresses a proposition which is a function of two other propositions, yet not one which is a truth function of those propositions. I may know the truth values of “Willie Mays played in the American League” and “Willie Mays hit four hundred” without knowing whether or not Mays, would have hit four hundred if he had played in the American League. This fact has tended to puzzle, displease, or delight philosophers, and many have felt that it is a fact that calls for some comment or explanation. It has given rise to a number of philosophical problems; I shall discuss three of these.
Article
Counterfactual constructions convey the meaning that the speaker believes a certain proposition not to hold. This article investigates the morphosyntactic composition of counterfactual conditionals and counterfactual wishes and the question of how the form of counterfactuals is related to their meaning. Across languages, there are combinations of tense, mood, and aspect morphemes that are used repeatedly in the expression of counterfactuality. I discuss the role of all three components.
Article
As a novel attack on the perennially vexing questions of the theoretical status of thematic roles and the inventory of possible roles, this paper defends a strategy of basing accounts of roles on more unified domains of linguistic data than have been used in the past to motivate roles, addressing in particular the problem of ARGUMENT SELECTION (principles determining which roles are associated with which grammatical relations). It is concluded that the best theory for describing this domain is not a traditional system of discrete roles (Agent, Patient, Source, etc.) but a theory in which the only roles are two cluster-concepts called PROTO-AGENT and PROTO-PATIENT, each characterized by a set of verbal entailments: an argument of a verb may bear either of the two proto-roles (or both) to varying degrees, according to the number of entailments of each kind the verb gives it. Both fine-grained and coarse-grained classes of verbal arguments (corresponding to traditional thematic roles and other classes as well) follow automatically, as do desired 'role hierarchies'. By examining occurrences of the 'same' verb with different argument configurations—e.g. two forms of psych predicates and object-oblique alternations as in the familiar spray/load class—it can also be argued that proto-roles act as defaults in the learning of lexical meanings. Are proto-role categories manifested elsewhere in language or as cognitive categories? If so, they might be a means of making grammar acquisition easier for the child, they might explain certain other typological and acquisitional observations, and they may lead to an account of contrasts between unaccusative and unergative intransitive verbs that does not rely on deriving unaccusatives from underlying direct objects.