Assertion Strength

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Kim, Yong-Beom

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서울대학교 언어교육원
어학연구, Vol.37 No.4, pp. 799-820
This paper attempts to provide a semantic and pragmatic basis of the notion assertion strength in a way that captures generalizations across various linguistic phenomena This paper will deal with emphatic expressions involving focus, polarity sensitive items, hyperbolic expressions, and concession. While defining the notion assertion along the lines of Stalnaker (1978), this paper will revise and broaden the idea of strengthening proposed by Kadmon and Landman (1993). It will be suggested that assertion strength in general can be categorized into two dimensions: informational quantity and pragmatic inference. It is hoped that this proposal will not only account for Ladusaw's (1979) downward entailing context use of any, but will remedy some of the problems found in Kadmon and Landman's approach and achieve a cross-linguistic generalization including English and Korean. This account will cover various cases involving focus, polarity sensitive items in English and Korean including NPIs like any and even in English and amwu and -(la)to in Korean. The assertion strength of various statements can be compared in terms of the relatiye size of the set of propositions that can be inferred from or are implicated by a statement in a given context. That is, the strength of an assertion will be defined as a relative concept and the set size of inferable or implicated propositions can be compared based on the size of the potential alternative set in a given context.
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Language Education Institute (언어교육원)Language Research (어학연구)Language Research (어학연구) Volume 37 Number 1/4 (2001)
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