LINGUIST List 12.2508

Mon Oct 8 2001

Qs: Pular, Presuppositions in Non-English Languages

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Directory

  1. WK9, Pular
  2. Mandy Simons, Question on presuppositions of change of state sentences

Message 1: Pular

Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2001 05:52:02 +0200
From: WK9 <wk9xs4all.nl>
Subject: Pular

Dear Colleagues,

I'm looking for information/sources of the linguistic differences of
'Sierra Leonian' Pular and 'Guinean (Conakry)' Pular.

Mariette Timmer
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Message 2: Question on presuppositions of change of state sentences

Date: Mon, 08 Oct 2001 16:06:51 -0400
From: Mandy Simons <simonsandrew.cmu.edu>
Subject: Question on presuppositions of change of state sentences


Dear Linguists,

I'm looking for information about the presuppositionality 
of change of state sentences -- sentences whose main verbs 
are change of state predicates like "stop," "start," 
"become," arrive," "leave," and so on -- in languages other 
than English.

In English, such sentences give rise to presuppositions: 
specifically, that the relevant entity was in the necessary 
start state immediately prior to the reference time of the 
sentence. So for example, sentence (1) entails that Jane 
was laughing immediately prior to the reference time (the 
necessary start state).

(1)	Jane stopped laughing.

Its negation, sentence (2), would also normally be 
understood to mean that Jane was laughing, but that she 
didn't stop. This is the "presuppositional" reading of the 
sentence.

(2)	Jane didn't stop laughing

However, sentence (2) is compatible with a situation in 
which Jane didn't laugh at all; this is the so-called 
"metalinguistic negation" reading. The preferred or default 
reading for all change of state sentences, though, is the 
presuppositional one.

My assumption is that this generalization holds 
cross-linguistically, i.e. that in all languages, change of 
state sentences give rise to the same kinds of 
presuppositions. I'm looking for support for, or 
disconfirmation of, this assumption. In particular, I'm 
interested in any examples of change of state predicates in 
any language which either:

1.	Don't allow a presuppositional reading.
2.	Allow but don't prefer a presuppositional reading.

I'll be glad for any other information about preferred 
readings of change of state sentences in languages other 
than English.

Thankyou,
Mandy Simons
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