Presupposition and Accommodation

Authored by: Jacopo Romoli , Uli Sauerland

The Routledge Handbook of Pragmatics

Print publication date:  January  2017
Online publication date:  January  2017

Print ISBN: 9780415531412
eBook ISBN: 9781315668925
Adobe ISBN:


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A basic discovery of research in semantics, pragmatics and their interface is that the meaning of an utterance is not always a single, unified whole, but can be divided into different components of meaning. This chapter addresses one such division: the division between presupposed and asserted content. Whether this division aligns with that of semantics and pragmatics is a matter of controversy, with some theories pulling presuppositions more towards the semantic side while others consider them more as part of the pragmatic realm. 1 All theories of presuppositions, however, involve some combination of semantic and pragmatic elements in their account, making the presupposed/asserted content distinction one of the most emblematic phenomena of the semantic/pragmatic interface.

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