Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Wiley-Blackwell Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info


New from Oxford University Press!

ad

The Social Origins of Language

By Daniel Dor

Presents a new theoretical framework for the origins of human language and sets key issues in language evolution in their wider context within biological and cultural evolution


New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

Preposition Placement in English: A Usage-Based Approach

By Thomas Hoffmann

This is the first study that empirically investigates preposition placement across all clause types. The study compares first-language (British English) and second-language (Kenyan English) data and will therefore appeal to readers interested in world Englishes. Over 100 authentic corpus examples are discussed in the text, which will appeal to those who want to see 'real data'


New from Brill!

ad

Free Access 4 You

Free access to several Brill linguistics journals, such as Journal of Jewish Languages, Language Dynamics and Change, and Brill’s Annual of Afroasiatic Languages and Linguistics.


Book Information

   

Title: Conditionals in Context
Written By: Christopher Gauker
URL: http://mitpress.mit.edu/catalog/item/default.asp?ttype=2&tid=10699
Description:

"If you turn left at the next corner, you will see a blue house at the end of the street." That sentence - a conditional - might be true even though it is possible that you will not see a blue house at the end of the street when you turn left at the next corner. A moving van may block your view; the house may have been painted pink; a crow might swoop down and peck out your eyes. Still, in some contexts, we might ignore these possibilities and correctly assert the conditional. In this book, Christopher Gauker argues that such context-relativity is the key to understanding the semantics of conditionals. Contexts are defined as objective features of the situation in which a conversation takes place, and the semantic properties of sentences - conditionals included - are defined in terms of assertibility in a context.

One of the primary goals of a theory of conditionals has to be to distinguish correctly between valid and invalid arguments containing conditionals. According to Gauker, an argument is valid if the conclusion is assertible in every context in which the premises are assertible. This runs counter to what Gauker sees as a systematic misreading of the data by other authors, who judge arguments to be invalid if they can think of a context in which the premises are judged true and some other context in which the conclusion is judged false. Different schools of thought on conditionals reflect fundamentally different approaches to semantics. Gauker offers his theory as a motive and test case for a distinctive kind of semantics that dispenses with reference relations and possible worlds.


Table of Contents:
1.1 The Context-Relativity of Conditionals 3
1.2 Conversations in the Abstract 9
1.3 Primitive Cotexts 12
1.4 Multicontexts and Conditionals 16
1.5 Indicative Conditionals versus Material Conditionals 24
1.6 Subjuctive Conditionals 25
1.7 Strong Assertibility 31
1.8 Two Stipulations 33
1.9 Foundations 36
1.10 My Argumentative Strategy 45
2 The Concept of Logical Validity 47
2.1 Arguments versus Inferences 49
2.2 Validity as a Matter of Form 52
2.3 The Model-Theoretic Conception of Validity 55
2.4 The Context-Logical Conception of Logical Validity 73
2.5 Does This Conception Do Any Better? 79
2.6 Conditionals as Context-Relative Rules of Inference 82
3 A Catalog of Argument Forms 83
4 Critical Comparisons 127
4.1 The Received View 130
4.2 Stalnaker's Theory 135
4.3 The Barwise-Lycan Theory 162
4.4 Lowe's Theory 170
4.5 Veltman's Theory 172
5 The Core Theory 177
5.1 Definitions and Conditions 177
5.2 Examples 181
5.3 Some Basic Theorems 187
5.4 A Key Result 192
5.5 The Rationales for Certain Features 193
5.6 Some Shortcomings of the Core Theory 203
6 Two Enhancements 205
6.1 Strong Assertibility 205
6.2 Conditional Tautologies 219
7 Subjunctive Conditionals 225
7.1 The Grammatical Distinction 225
7.2 The Formal Theory of Subjunctive Conditionals 241
7.3 Examples 245
7.4 A Couple of Enhancements 249
8 "Even If", et cetera 253
8.1 "Even If" 254
8.2 Quantified Conditionals 272
8.3 "Only If" 277
8.4 Order Effects 280
8.5 Conditionals with Conditional Antecedents 284
9 Decidability 289
9.1 Preliminaries 290
9.2 The Algorithm 298
9.3 Examples 312
9.4 Why the Algorithm Works 314
References
Download Chapter as PDF Sample Chapter - Download PDF (45 KB) 325
Index
Download Chapter as PDF Sample Chapter - Download PDF (34 KB) 331

Publication Year: 2005
Publisher: MIT Press
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Semantics
Syntax
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Versions:
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0262572311
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 344
Prices: U.S. $ 35.00

 
 
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0262072661
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 344
Prices: U.S. $ 75.00
U.S. $ 48.95

 
 
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0262572311
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 344
Prices: U.K. £ 22.95