Archive | April 2014

Special announcement: talk by Yasutada Sudo (UCL)

We are happy to announce that Yasutada Sudo (UCL) will be giving a talk in the ROSE seminar entitled “How Scalar Implicatures and Presuppositions Interact” (joint work with Benjamin Spector).

Date: Wednesday 9 April 2014
Time: 10:00 – 11:30
Location: Utrecht, Kromme Nieuwegracht 80, Ravensteynzaal (1.06)


We investigate the interactions between scalar implicatures and presuppositions in sentences which involve a presupposition trigger and a scalar item, e.g. “John isn’t aware that some of the students smoke”. We first discuss Gajewski & Sharvit’s (2012) account and point out empirical problems for it. Then we present an alternative analysis which is a very natural extension of ‘standard’ treatments of scalar implicatures. We show that it nicely explains the data that is problematic for Gajewski & Sharvit, but claim that it fails to account of the full range of data. This discussion leads us to pursue a view where two distinct strengthening mechanisms are at play. Our key data involves what we call “presupposed ignorance inferences”.