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Presupposition And Entailment By Dr.Shadia

Pragmatics: Presupposition and Entailment

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Presupposition And Entailment By Dr.Shadia

  1. 1. “Speakers usually design their linguistic messages on the basis of assumptions of what their hearers already know” PRESUPPOSITION AND ENTAILMENT By: Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar 1
  2. 2. • Pragmatics is the study of deixis, implicature, presupposition, speech acts, and aspects of discourse structure. (Levinson, 1983) Stephen C. Levinson Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar 2
  3. 3. Presuppositions and entailments Two aspects of what is communicated but not said Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar 3
  4. 4. Presupposition A is something the speaker assumes to be the case prior to make an utterance. Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar 4
  5. 5. •Speakers, not sentences, have presuppositions, symbolized as >> . Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar 5
  6. 6. Presupposition EXAMPLE: • if someone tells you: 1. “ your brother is waiting outside for you”, • there is an obvious supposition that you have a brother. Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar 6
  7. 7. 2) a. Kepler died in misery b. Kepler did not die in misery. The notion of presupposition is generally traced back to German mathematician, logician and philosopher, Gottlob Frege (1848-1925), who noted in Frege (1952) that both (2a) and (2b) presuppose that Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar 7
  8. 8. English philosopher, Bertrand Russell (1872 – 1970) argued against this view in Russell (1905). He was concerned with the fact that (3) is meaningful, whether or not there actually is a King of France. 3) The King of France is wise. He proposed that this involves three assertions. There exists an x such that a) x is a King of France b) there is no other entity that is a King of France c) x is wise Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar 8
  9. 9. presupposition triggers • In any language, there are some expressions or constructions which can act as the sources of presuppositions. This kind of expressions or constructions is called . Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar 9
  10. 10. Examples with presupposition triggers (1) Definitive descriptions • John saw the man with two heads >> There exists a man with two heads. (2) Factive verbs • John realized that he was in debt >> John was in debt. (3) Change of state verbs • Joan began to beat her husband >> Joan hadn’t been beating her husband. (4) Iterative • The flying saucer came again >> The flying saucer came before. (5) Temporal clauses • while Chomsky was revolutionizing linguistics, the rest of social science asleep >> Chomsky was revolutionizing linguistics. (6) Cleft sentences • It was Henry who killed Rose >> Someone killed Rose. (7) Comparisons and contrasts • Carol is a better linguist than Barbara >> Barbara is a linguist. • The negative form of the above sentences has the same presupposition. Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar 10
  11. 11. The relationship between two propositions: Mary’s cat is cute. (p) Mary has a cat. (q) p >>q = p presupposes q Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar 11
  12. 12. If the speaker denies the proposition p (NOT p), the presupposition q doesn’t change. Mary’s cat isn’t cute. (NOT p) Mary has a cat. (q) Not p >>q = Not p presupposes q Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar 12
  13. 13. Types of Presupposition Presuppositions are associated with the use of a large number of These linguistic forms are considered as indicators of potential presupposition, which can only become actual presupposition in contexts with speakers. Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar 13
  14. 14. 1- Existential presupposition: Entities named by the speaker and assumed to be present - noun phrase. - possessive constructions. Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar 14
  15. 15. noun phrase : quot;The Cold War has endedquot; presupposes that the existence of the entities it refers to, in this case the quot;Cold Warquot;. Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar 15
  16. 16. possessive constructions : “Tony’s car is new” we can presuppose that Tony exists and that he has a car. Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar 16
  17. 17. 2- Factive presupposition: identified by the presence of some verbs such as quot;know“, quot;realize“, “be glad”, “be sorry”, etc. (>> He was ill) She didn’t realize he was ill. (>> We told him) We regret telling him. I wasn’t aware that she was married. (>> She was married) (>> He left early) It isn’t odd that he left early. (>> It’s over) I’m glad that it’s over. Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar 17
  18. 18. 3- Lexical presupposition: In using one word, the speaker can act as if another meaning will be understood. For instance: Mary stopped running. (>>She used to run.) You are late again. (>> You were late before.) Are you still such a bad driver? (>> You were a bad driver) quot;stop“, quot;again“ “still” are taken to presuppose another ( ) concept. Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar 18
  19. 19. 4- Structural presupposition: it is the assumption associated with the use of certain structures. - wh-question constructions. When did she travel to the USA? ( >> she travelled) Where did you buy the book? (>> you bought the book) The listener perceives that the information presented is necessarily true, or intended as true by the speaker.. Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar 19
  20. 20. 5- Non- factive presupposition: it is an assumption referred to something that is not true. For example, verbs like quot;dreamquot;, quot;imaginequot; and quot;pretendquot; are used with the presupposition that what follows is not true. I dreamed that I was rich. (>> I was not rich) We imagined that we were in London. (>> We were not in London) Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar 20
  21. 21. 6- Counterfactual presupposition: it is the assumption that what is presupposed is not only untrue, but is the opposite of what is true, or contrary to facts. If you were my daughter, I would not allow you to do this. ( >> you are not my daughter) If I were rich I would buy a Ferrari. (>> I’m not rich) Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar 21
  22. 22. Entailment is not a pragmatic concept. It is defined as what logically follows from what is asserted in the utterance, symbolized by II-. Sentences, not speakers, have entailments. Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar 22
  23. 23. Speakers have presuppositions while sentences have entailments. EXAMPLE: Susan’s sister bought two houses. This sentence presupposes that Susan exists and that she has a sister. This sentence has the entailments that Susan’s sister bought something; a house, and other similar logical consequences, now she has 2 houses. The entailments are communicated without being said and are not dependent on the speaker’s intention. Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar 23
  24. 24. 1) a. The King of France is bald. b. There is a King of France. c. The King of France is not bald. If X entails Y, the negative counterpart of X does not entail Y. (2a) entails (2b), but (2c) does not. The President of Polvenia is a bachelor. ENTAILMENTS 2) a. b. The President of Polvenia is unmarried. c. The President of Polvenia is not a bachelor. Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar 24
  25. 25. Ordered Entailments 1)Rover chased three squirrels. a) Something chased three squirrels. b) Rover did something to three squirrels. c) Rover chased of something. d)Something happened. Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar 25
  26. 26. The speaker will necessarily produce a very large number of background entailments, but the speaker will indicate how these entailments are to be ordered. How? by stress by using special structures So The hearer will understand which entailment is assumed to be more important for interpreting intended meaning. Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar 26
  27. 27. THE FOREGROUND ENTAILMENT BOB ate three sandwiches. Bob ATE three sandwiches. Bob ate THREE sandwiches. Bob ate three SANDWICHES. Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar 27
  28. 28. It-cleft construction/cleft sentences a) It was that did the work. b) It wasn’t who took your jacket. Cleft sentences are used to help us focus on a particular part of the sentence and to emphasise what we want to say … Because there are two parts … they are called cleft (from the verb cleave) which means divided into two. Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar 28
  29. 29. • Cleft sentences are particularly useful in writing where we cannot use intonation for purposes of focus or emphasis, but they are also frequently used in speech. • Cleft structures include the reason why, the thing that, the person/people who, the place where, the day when and what-clauses which are usually linked to the clause that we want to focus on with is or was. • From: BBC World service Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar 29
  30. 30. Presuppositions vs. entailments Presuppositions are different from entailments: 1) She hasn’t stopped smoking. Still presupposes She used to smoke. 2) My dog didn’t eat my bag. Still presupposes I have a dog, and I (still, it seems) have a bag. while The emperor wasn’t assassinated. Does not entail any more XXXXXX 1)Someone was assassinated. XXXXXX2)The emperor died. Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar 30
  31. 31. Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar 31

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Pragmatics: Presupposition and Entailment


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