Logic and Language


Lance Rips (Northwestern University): Experimenting with (conditional) perfection


Speaker: Lance Rips (Northwestern University)
Title: Experimenting with (conditional) perfection
Date:
Time: 16:15 - 17:30
Location: BG2.008, Turfdraagsterpad 15-17

Conditional claims can, in the right context, convey biconditional information. This phenomenon is called conditional perfection. In this paper, we present a series of experiments designed to test one of the most promising pragmatic accounts of perfection. This is von Fintel's (2001) idea that perfection arises as an exhaustivity implicature depending on what kinds of questions are, implicitly or explicitly, driving the inquiry of the participants to the conversation. Our experiments are consistent with the idea that perfection is due to exhaustivity, but not with the idea that exhaustivity inferences are triggered by background questions.