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Pragmatics presentation presupposition prepared by Mr. Ijaz Ahmed MPhil Scholar NCBA&E

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Pragmatics presentation presupposition prepared by Mr. Ijaz Ahmed MPhil Scholar NCBA&E

  1. 1. Presentation No.1 Topic: Presupposition Presented by Ijaz Ahmed Supervised by Dr. Iqbal Butt Discipline: Mphil in Linguistics
  2. 2. Introduction • Presupposition • In the branch of linguistics known as pragmatics, a presupposition is an implicit assumption about the world or background belief relating to an utterance whose truth is taken for granted in discourse. • Examples of presuppositions include: • Have you stopped eating meat? – Presupposition: you had once eaten meat. • Have you talked to Hans? – Presupposition: Hans exists.
  3. 3. Cont……….. • A presupposition must be mutually known or assumed by the speaker and addressee for the utterance to be considered appropriate in context. It will generally remain a necessary assumption whether the utterance is placed in the form of an assertion, denial, or question, and can be associated with a specific lexical item or grammatical feature (presupposition trigger) in the utterance.
  4. 4. Cont…….. • Crucially, negation of an expression does not change its presuppositions: I want to do it again and I don't want to do it again both presuppose that the subject has done it already one or more times
  5. 5. Cont……. • A presupposition of a part of an utterance is sometimes also a presupposition of the whole utterance, and sometimes not. For instance, the phrase my wife triggers the presupposition that I have a wife.
  6. 6. Literature review • Strawson’s view of presupposition as an entailment that survives negation and is truth- conditional. This approach to presupposition was refined by Karttunon and Peters (1979)who argues that presupposition is conventional to the extent that it survives negation but pragmatic to the extent that it is non- truth -conditional
  7. 7. Literature Review The idea that there are CONTEXTUAL PRESUPPOSITIONS over and above SEMANTIC PRESUPPOSITIONS has been gaining in popularity in both linguistics and philosophy. Some linguists and philosophers even argue that the semantic notion of presupposition should be abandoned in favor of the contextual one.
  8. 8. Cont………….. In Frege's view, the content of such presuppositions (i.e. what properties of an objects make them 'appropriate', or what the requirement for success is) was something that depended on the grammatical structure of sentences. “Presupposition was incorporated into semantic theory on the hypothesis that it is one of these further cases (Katz 1965:597-8, 1966: 211-20)”
  9. 9. Cont………… • Further, as Katz 1972 and Karttunen 1973 observe, the presuppositions associated with an expression in a sentence are not, in general, associated with the complex sentences
  10. 10. Cont………. • Katz & Fodor (1963:174) • Suggested that the semantic competence of speakers consists of whatever non- syntactic and non-phonological information they have about the structure of sentences when there is no information at all about their contexts-or • alternatively, when they occur in zero context
  11. 11. Cont………… • This is all that Karttunen says “A presupposition associated with the second clause; in contrast to the situation with conditional sentences, there is no independent semantic property of the sentence type which can be thought of as providing the basis for the presupposition.”
  12. 12. Types of Presupposition • A. Existential Presupposition • speaker is committed to the existence of the entities named • the King of Sweden • the cat • the girl next door • the Counting Crows • your car • any definite noun phrase
  13. 13. Methodology • I have selected a short story Button,Bitton written by Richard Mathson and tried to analyze the presuppositions from its text
  14. 14. Example of existential presupposition • "Maybe some eccentric millionaire is playing games with people," she said. • She presupposes that millionaire exists. • "I think you'd better leave," Arthur said, standing. And take your button unit with you." • Presupposes that button exists. • I assure you, the organization is of international scope." • The speaker presupposes that an organization exists • "I'll leave my card," said Mr. Steward. He placed it on the table • It presupposes that card and table exist • “
  15. 15. Factive Presupposition • B. Factive Presupposition • Certain verbs/construction indicate that something is a fact • She didn't REALIZE he was ill (>> He was ill) • We REGRET telling him (>> We told him) • I WASN'T AWARE that she was married (>> She was married) • It ISN'T ODD that he left early (>> He left early) • I'M GLAD that it's over (>> It's over)
  16. 16. Example of factive presupposition • "However, I assure you, the organization is of international scope." • Presupposes that it is an organization
  17. 17. C. Lexical Presupposition • C. Lexical Presupposition • The use of a form with its asserted meaning is conventionally interpreted with the presupposition that • another, non-asserted, meaning is understood • He MANAGED to repair the clock ( >> he tried to repair the clock) • Asserted meaning: he succeeded • He didn't MANAGE to repair the clock (>> he tried to repair the clock) • Asserted meaning: he failed • He STOPPED smoking (>> he used to smoke) • They STARTED complained (>> they weren't complaining before) • You're late AGAIN (>> You were late before)
  18. 18. Example of lexical presupposition • "I'm not selling anything," he answered. • Presupposes he is trying to do something else instead of selling • She tried to smile but couldn't. • Presupposes that she tried to smile • Because it's immoral," he told her. • Presupposes it is not moral
  19. 19. D. Structural Presupposition • D. Structural Presupposition • certain sentence structures conventionally and regularly presuppose that part of the structure is already assumed to be true • Wh-questions: When did he leave? (>> he left) • Where did you buy the bike? (>> You bought the bike)
  20. 20. Example of structural presupposition • "Who do you represent?" demanded Norma. • Presupposes that he represents. • "What are you trying to sell?" she asked. • Presupposes that x is selling something. • "What is that gadget, anyway?“ • Speaker presupposes that there is a device
  21. 21. E Non-factive Presupposition • E Non-factive Presupposition • certain verbs/constructions indicate that something is not a fact / not true • I DREAMED that I was rich (>> I was not rich) • We IMAGINED we were in Hawaii (>> We were not in Hawaii) • He PRETENDS to be ill (>> He is not ill)
  22. 22. Example of non factive presupposition • "Fifty thousand dollars, Arthur," Norma interrupted. "A chance to take that trip to Europe we've always talked about." • Presupposes that they had not any chance to go to Europe
  23. 23. F. Counterfactual Presupposition • F. Counterfactual Presupposition • Structures mean that what is presupposed is not only not true, but is the opposite of what is true, i.e. contrary to facts • If you were my friend, you would have helped me (>> You are not my friend
  24. 24. Example of counterfactual presupposition • "If you push the button," Mr. Steward told him, "somewhere in the world someone you don't know will die. • Presuppoes that he had not pushed the button • "If you push the button," Mr. Steward told him, "somewhere in the world someone you don't know will die. • Presupposes that they had not experience of such phenomena before.
  25. 25. SUMMARY • Type Example Presupposition • Existential the X >> X exists • Factive I regret leaving >> I left • Non-factive He pretended to be happy >> He wasn't happy • Lexical He managed to escape >> He tried to escape • Structural When did she die? >> She died • Counterfactual If I weren't ill >> I am ill
  26. 26. Conclusion • At the end it can be said that in the branch of linguistics known as pragmatics, a presupposition is an implicit assumption about the world or background belief relating to an utterance whose truth is taken for granted in discourse and presupposition must be mutually known or assumed by the speaker and addressee for the utterance to be considered appropriate in context. And it also made the writing interesting and informative because they provide us with a chance to peep into the deep recesses of human mind. • .
  27. 27. References • FREGE, G. 1892. Uber Sinn und Bedeutung. Zeitschrift fur Philosophie und Philoso-phische Kritik 100.25-50. [In Translations from the philosophical writings of Gottlob Frege, ed. bP. T. Geach & M. Black, 68-74. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1952.] • KARTTUNEN, L. 1973. Presuppositions of compound sentences. Linguistic Inquiry 4. • 169-93. • KATZ, J. J. 1965. The relevance of linguistics to philosophy. Journal of Philosophy 62.590-601. • Strawson, P.F. 1950: On referring. Mind 59, 320-44.

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