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Burton-Roberts on presupposition and negation

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Citation

Seuren, P. A. M. (1990). Burton-Roberts on presupposition and negation. Journal of Linguistics, 26(2), 425-453. doi:10.1017/S0022226700014730.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-A0F9-E
Abstract
In his paper ‘On Horn's dilemma: presupposition and negation’ Burton-Roberts (1989a) presents an ambitious programme, formulated right at the outset. He seeks to establish three points: (i) Under the ‘standard logical definition of presupposition’ a pre-suppositional semantics is INCOMPATIBLE with a SEMANTICALLY AMBIGUOUS NEGATION operator (SAN), on pain of the theory being rendered ‘empirically empty and theoretically trivial’,. (ii) From this it follows that the one unambiguous negation is presupposition preserving. Cases that have been identified as presupposition-cancelling negation should be re-analysed as ‘instances of a pragmatic phenomenon’, not unlike what has been proposed in Horn (1985), that is as METALINGUISTIC NEGATION (MN). (iii) This pragmatic analysis of MN ‘itself implies a presuppositional semantics’, that is to say ‘a presuppositional theory of truth-value gaps’.