Alternative Sets

Lecturer: Clemens Mayr, Göttingen University
One of the goals of participants in a conversation is to determine what the actual world is like. A way to come closer to this goal is by answering questions about the world. To afford this, the interpretive component of grammar makes use of alternatives. Interrogative utterances highlight alternatives that the world might correspond to. Declarative utterances assert that one or a number of these alternatives is/are the case. Implicatures get factored into the meaning to exclude other alternatives. How much are these phenomena grammaticalized? The present course addresses this issue by giving an overview of a number of phenomena relying on alternatives.

Mon Aug 5th

Tue Aug 6th

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    Context and utterances

Wed Aug 7th

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    Asking questions

Thu Aug 8th

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    Answering exhaustively

Fri Aug 9th

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    Introducing alternatives: focus and topic

Mon Aug 12th

Tue Aug 13th

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    Scalar and ignorance inferences

Wed Aug 14th

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    Polarity

Thu Aug 15th

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    Redundancy and Magri oddness

Fri Aug 16th

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    Maximizing presuppositions