The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

ESSL meeting 10/10 - Aron Hirsch

Speaker: Aron Hirsch
Date/Time: Thursday 10 October, 5 pm
Location: 32-D831
Title: Incremental presupposition projection in disjunction


Presupposition projection in conjunction shows left-to-right asymmetries, sensitive to the linear order of the conjuncts. Theories have been proposed linking such asymmetries to general processing considerations, predicting similar asymmetries to be observable across sentential connectives. We address an apparent counter-example – disjunction – which in the classic examples in the literature appears projectively symmetric. We argue that the classic examples are confounded, and show (i) that once the confound is resolved, disjunction is projectively asymmetric, and (ii) that even with the confound in place, there are experimentally observable traces of asymmetry consistent with a processing-based approach.