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This cash course will be focused on the pragmatics of negation.


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Pragmatics has as a main goal to describe ans explain how utterances are interpreted in contexts, and is mainly concerned by issues as presuppositions and implicatures, that is, meaning which are traditionally defined as non-truth-conditional. In this class, some of the classical issues in the semantics and pragmatics of negation will be discussed, as the descriptive and metalinguistic distinction, the semantic and pragmatic properties of quantifiers and the contexts licensing descriptive and metalinguistic negation.

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This course is devoted to the relation between negation , presupposition and implicature. The first issue has to explain how negation is connected to presupposition, and what are the implications of a logical definition of presupposition. The presupposition issue introduces the descriptive vs.

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The implicature issue will show how implicit meaning is defined as a non-truth-conditional meaning, and how negative utterances are described as regards to implicatures. Finally, a general truth-conditional definition of presupposition and implicature will be offered.

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One puzzle in natural languages is the absence of lexicalization of negative particulars not all, some…not , as regards to others logical quantifiers all, some, none. This class is devoted to the presentation of the standard logical and pragmatic analysis of quantifiers via the Aristotelian logical square Horn and the explanation of the absence of lexicalization for negative particulars. An alternative analysis will be proposed, implying a truth-conditional pragmatic analysis for quantifiers, at the level of explicit vs.

A precise description of the semantics and pragmatics of particulars some, some not will be proposed, using a standard Boolean semantics.

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The straightforward separation between four types of linguistic and pragmatic theories will allow making some assumptions about the possible types of semantics-pragmatics interfaces. Class 2: Presupposition and conventional implicatures Thursday 3 May, h. One type of conventional meaning has been traditionally described under the label presupposition , which refers to background or old information triggered by lexical items or constructions and is left unchanged under ordinary negation. On the other hand, c onventional implicatures have been described as non-truth-conditional conventional meanings, that is, non-defeasible meaning triggered by lexical items without being dependent on any pragmatic principles as the cooperative principle and the conversational maxims.

Many attempts have been made to merge these two concepts, that is, to reshape presuppositions in terms of conventional implicatures.


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We will see that this attempt has left aside the issue of what is backgrounded vs. Pragmatics has mainly developed a type of conversational implicatures described by Grice as generalized , because they are triggered by lexical items, but are not conventional whereas defeasible. This category of conversational implicatures as opposed to particularized ones have been the center of interest in most pragmatic theories, mainly within neo-Gricean pragmatics Horn, Levinson.

Among the large set of GCIs, scalar or quantitative implicatures have given rise to most works in pragmatics, mainly because they raise the issue of semantic scales and the relations between lexical items belonging to scales, as downward entailment and upward implicatures. Alternative models, more radically Gricean, have been proposed, mainly based on reasoning on sets of alternatives and a global syntactic vs.

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Finally, we will examine a radically opposed approach to scalar implicatures, relevance theory, which defines most of GCIs as explicatures , that is, developments of the logical form of the utterances. This reconfiguration of the architecture of pragmatic meaning has as a main consequence the drastic reduction of the domain of implicatures to particularized conversational implicatures, that is, nonce implicatures.

Entailment, presuppositions, explicatures and implicatures raise the question of how semantic and pragmatic meanings interplay and why natural languages have such a complex meaning configuration. The picture which will be discussed presents two main issues: i a layered approach to meaning and how it is structured; ii the semantics-pragmatics interface, that is, how semantic meaning is interplayed with pragmatic one.