Attitude verbs’ local context

Linguistics and Philosophy 46 (3):483-507 (2022)
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Schlenker (Semant Pragmat 2(3):1–78, 2009; Philos Stud 151(1):115–142, 2010a; Mind 119(474):377–391, 2010b) provides an algorithm for deriving the presupposition projection properties of an expression from that expression’s classical semantics. In this paper, we consider the predictions of Schlenker’s algorithm as applied to attitude verbs. More specifically, we compare Schlenker’s theory with a prominent view which maintains that attitudes exhibit belief projection, so that presupposition triggers in their scope imply that the attitude holder believes the presupposition (Karttunen in Theor Linguist 34(1):181, 1974; Heim in J Semant 9(3):183–221, 1992; Sudo in The art and craft of semantics: a festschrift for Irene Heim, MIT Press, 2014). We show that Schlenker’s theory does not predict belief projection, and discuss several consequences of this result.

Author Profiles

Kyle H. Blumberg
Australian Catholic University
Simon Goldstein
Australian Catholic University


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