A solution to Karttunen's Problem

In Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 21 (2017)
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Abstract
There is a difference between the conditions in which one can felicitously assert a ‘must’-claim versus those in which one can use the corresponding non-modal claim. But it is difficult to pin down just what this difference amounts to. And it is even harder to account for this difference, since assertions of 'Must ϕ' and assertions of ϕ alone seem to have the same basic goal: namely, coming to agreement that [[ϕ]] is true. In this paper I take on this puzzle, known as Karttunen’s Problem. I begin by arguing that a ‘must’-claim is felicitous only if there is a shared argument for its prejacent. I then argue that this generalization, which I call Support, can explain the more familiar generalization that ‘must’-claims are felicitous only if the speaker’s evidence for them is in some sense indirect. Finally, I sketch a pragmatic derivation of Support.
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Archival date: 2018-07-22
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Still Going Strong.von Fintel, Kai & Gillies, Anthony S.

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