Experimental and crosslinguistic evidence for the distinction between implicatures and presuppositions

July 1st – July 3rd, 2015

Venue: ZAS Berlin, Germany

Program: https://implicaturesandpresuppositions.wordpress.com/program/

Workshop website: https://implicaturesandpresuppositions.wordpress.com/

Invited Talks:

Emmanuel Chemla (ENS Paris)
Danny Fox (MIT)
Jacopo Romoli (University of Ulster)
Florian Schwarz (University of Pennsylvania)
Judith Tonhauser (Ohio State University)

Traditionally, research in formal semantics has established a theoretical distinction between presuppositions and implicatures. This traditional view is based on the different behaviour of presuppositions and implicatures in embedding environments, their (non)ability of being cancelled, and the triggering mechanism behind them. Presuppositions, on the one hand, are said to be lexically triggered inferences, which project under negation and other types of embeddings, and are non-cancellable. Implicatures, on the other hand, are claimed to be triggered by certain linguistic structures only in specific contexts, to not project and to be cancellable. This has led to a formal semantic modeling of presuppositions as prerequisites that have to be fulfilled in the context in order for utterances to be felicitously uttered. Implicatures are modeled as inferences which, in certain contexts, enrich the assertive meaning of an utterance.

This traditional view has been challenged by recent research on presuppositions and implicatures. This recent research primarily takes into consideration experimental as well as cross-linguistic data. It paints a more complicated picture and makes a distinction between both types of inferences less clear cut.

The workshop will provide a forum for researchers working on these two phenomena to discuss their latest insights on the basis of empirical data, such as experimental and/or crosslinguistic data.

Organizing Committee:

Nadine Bade (University of Tübingen)
Edgar Onea (University of Göttingen)
Uli Sauerland (ZAS Berlin)
Sonja Tiemann (University of Tübingen)
Malte Zimmermann (University of Potsdam)

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