Title: Additivity, Accommodation, and Alternatives (based on joint work with Flóra Lili Donáti)
Abstract: Kripke (2009) observed that additive presuppositions triggered by additive particles like "too" and "also" resist accommodation in out-of-the-blue contexts, and proposed that this is because additive presuppositions have an anaphoric component that cannot be accommodated. This anaphoric analysis has been influential, but more recently, based on certain exceptional cases that seem to allow for accommodation out of the blue, Ruys (2015) claims that Kripke’s observation can be explained in terms of Givenness, and an existential analysis of additive presuppositions. We examine existing and novel examples where additive presuppositions can be felicitously accommodated, and argue that the anaphoric analysis and Ruys’s existential analysis are both problematic. We propose a new analysis, according to which accommodation of an additive presupposition in an out-of-the-blue context involves two distinct processes, namely, (i) accommodation of a contextually relevant set of focus alternatives, and (ii) computation of the additive presupposition with respect to these focus alternatives, which might or might not have to be accommodated as well. A notable feature of our analysis is that neither process is assumed to be special with respect to how it is pragmatically constrained, but their interplay accounts for Kripke’s original observation as well as various exceptions to it.
Location: https://nyu.zoom.us/j/98747558836 & Room 104, 10 Washington Place