Advertisement

Embedding explicatures in implicit indirect reports: simple sentences, and substitution failure cases

  • Alessandro CaponeEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Perspectives in Pragmatics, Philosophy & Psychology book series (PEPRPHPS, volume 18)

Abstract

In this chapter, I am going to discuss a very interesting case brought to our attention by Saul (1997, 2007) and references therein: NP-related substitution failure in simple sentences. Whereas it is well known that opacity occurs in intensional contexts and that in such contexts it is not licit to replace an NP with a co-referential one (this would be illicit, substitution failure constituting a violation of the compositionality constraint, according to Salmon 1986, 2007, Richard 2013, Jaszczolt 2005), one would not expect that substitution failure (that is an exception to Leibniz’s law) should also be exhibited by simple sentences (though they are not exhibited by all simple sentences) in the context of stories about Superman. The suggested explanation of these cases is to posit an embedding explicature, that is to say the insertion of structure (a sentential fragment such as ‘We are told that’ or ‘As the story goes’) that ipso facto creates an intensional context capable of blocking substitution. I consider various complications to this story in the light of important objections by García-Carpintero (p.c.) and, finally, I consider how this story fares when one applies constraints on explicatures along the lines of those proposed by Hall (2014) in an interesting paper.

In general, this chapter exploits interesting considerations by Norrick (2016) on the structural similarities between stories and indirect reports. Norrick believes there are important differences, but he is inclined to concede that we could study structural similarities. An important similarity, brought out by the examples discussed by Saul (2007), is that the narrative frame, once it is inserted into the interaction, can be left implicit and, during the act of narrating or referring to the story, one need not repeat the words ‘the story says’ or ‘we are told that…’ every time. Although implicit, these words are heard because they do some work at the structural level, as is shown by this attempt to resolve an otherwise intractable philosophical problem. The explicatures of simple sentences are perceived because they are integrated into the speakers’/hearers’ perception of the overall plan of discourse, as Haugh (2015) most interestingly notes:

As Haugh and Jaszczolt (2012) note, this means that any putative “communicative intention of A is embedded within his higher-order intention” (p. 101). In other words, to figure out the implicature that evidently arises here, the participants are necessarily making inferences about some kind of overall aim (…). According to this view, then, inferences about the intended implicature(s) (i.e. the speaker’s communicative intentions) arise concomitant with inferences about the overall aim of the speaker (…) (p. 96).

It follows from the considerations by Haugh that, since the explicature connected with simple sentences depends on the perception of the overall aim or plan of the conversation, it is not easily cancelled. Readers can check by themselves that the explicatures due to simple sentences cannot be cancelled, as cancelling them would involve returning to illogical discourses. (But these are merely consequences of what I said in Capone 2009a, b). Haugh’s considerations about the overall aim of the discourse are precious in explaining how the embedding explicatures I posit are calculated once and for all for the whole stretch of the discourse framed by the narrative act (or the perception of the narrative act).

Keywords

Implicit Indirect reports Simple sentences and substitution Explicatures The semantics/pragmatics debate 

References

  1. Allan, K., & Jaszczolt, K. (Eds.). The Cambridge handbook of pragmatics (pp. 87–112). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Bach, K. (1994). Conversational implicitures. Mind & Language, 9, 124–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bach, K. (2000). A puzzle about belief reports. In K. Jaszczolt (Ed.), The pragmatics of propositional attitude reports. Oxford: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  4. Bach, K. (2004). Pragmatics and the philosophy of language. In L. R. Horn & G. Ward (Eds.), The handbook of pragmatics (pp. 463–487). Oxford: Blackwell/Wiley.Google Scholar
  5. Bach, K. (2012). Context-dependence. In M. García-Carpintero & M. Koelbel (Eds.), The Continuum companion to the philosophy of language (pp. 153–184). London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  6. Barber, A. (2000). A pragmatic treatment of simple sentences. Analysis, 60, 300–308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Borg, E. (2012). Pursuing meaning. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Burge, T. (2007). Foundations of mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Capone, A. (1998). Modality and discourse. D. Phil. dissertation in linguistics, University of Oxford.Google Scholar
  10. Capone, A. (2000). Dilemmas and excogitations: An essay on modality, clitics and discourse. Messina: Armando Siciliano.Google Scholar
  11. Capone, A. (2001). Review of Higginbotham et al. Speaking of events. Linguistics, 39(6), 1179–1192.Google Scholar
  12. Capone, A. (2002). Trasemantica e pragmatica. Bologna: Clueb.Google Scholar
  13. Capone, A. (2006). On Grice’s circle(a theory-internal problem in linguistic theories of the Gricean type). Journal of Pragmatics, 38, 645–669.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Capone, A. (2008). Belief reports and pragmatic intrusion: the case of null appositives. Journal of Pragmatics, 40(6), 1019–1040.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Capone, A. (2009a). Are explicatures cancellable? Toward a theory of the speakers’ intentionality. Intercultural Pragmatics, 6(1), 55–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Capone, A. (2009b). Review of K. Jaszczolt, default semantics. Journal of Pragmatics, 4, 2572–2574.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Capone, A. (2011). Knowing how and pragmatic intrusion. Intercultural Pragmatics, 8(4), 543–570.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Capone, A. (2013a). Consequences of the pragmatics of ‘de se’. In A. Capone & N. Feit (Eds.), Attitudes ‘de se’: linguistics, epistemology and metaphysics (pp. 209–244). Stanford: CSLI.Google Scholar
  19. Capone, A. (2013b). The pragmatics of pronominal clitics. Intercultural Pragmatics, 10(3), 459–485.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Cappelen, H., & Lepore, E. (2005). Liberating content. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Carruthers, P. (2006). The architecture of the mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Carston, R. (2002). Thoughts and utterances. In The pragmatics of explicit communication. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  23. Corazza, E. (2004). Reflecting the mind. In Indexicality and quasi-indexicality. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Corazza, E. (2010). From Giorgione-sentences to simple sentences. Journal of Pragmatics, 42, 544–556.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Crimmins, M., & Perry, J. (1989). The prince and the phone booth. The Journal of Philoosphy, 86, 685–711.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Davidson, D. (1968). On saying that. Synthese, 19(1–2), 130–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Davis, W. (2005). Non-descriptive meaning and reference: an ideational semantics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Davis, W. (2016). A theory of saying reports. In A. Capone, F. Kiefer, & F. Lo Piparo (Eds.), Indirect reports and pragmatics (pp. 291–332). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Elbourne, P. (2008). The argument from binding. Philosophical Perspectives, 22, 89–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Fabrizio, M., & Alessandro, C. (2016). Uncommon ground. Intercultural Pragmatics, 13(2), 151–180.Google Scholar
  31. Feit, N., & Capone, A. (2013). Attitudes ‘de se’: Linguistics, epistemology, metaphsycs. Stanford: Csli (Chicago University Press).Google Scholar
  32. Fetzer, A. (2016). Pragmemes in discourse. In K. Allan, A. Capone, & I. Kecskes (Eds.), Pragmemes and theories of language use. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  33. Forbes, G. (1997a). How much substitutivity. Analysis, 57, 109–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Forbes, G. (1997b). Belief reports and speech reports. In W. Kunne, A. Newen, & M. Andushus (Eds.), Direct reference, indexicality and propositional attitudes (pp. 313–330). Stanford: CSLI.Google Scholar
  35. Forbes, G. (2006). Attitude problems. An essay on linguistic intensionality. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Frege, G. (1884). Die Grundlagen der Arithmetik: einelogisch-mathematischeUntersuchungüber den Begriff der Zahl. Breslau: W. Koebner. Translated by J. L. Austin as The foundations of arithmatic: A logic-mathematical enquiry into the concept of number. Oxford: Blackwell. 1974.Google Scholar
  37. Frege, G. (1892). Über Sinn und Bedeutung. ZeitschriftfürPhilosophie und philosophischeKritik, NF 100, 1892, S. 25–50.Google Scholar
  38. Gibbs, R. (1999). Intentions in the experience of meaning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Gregoromichelaki, E. (2016). Reporting, dialogue and the role of grammar. In A. Capone, F. Kiefer, & F. Lo Piparo (Eds.), Indirect reports and pragmatics. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  40. Hall, A. (2009). Subsentential utterances, ellipsis and pragmatic enrichment. Pragmatics & Cognition, 17(2), 222–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Hall, A. (2014). ‘Free’ enrichment and the nature of pragmatic constraints. International Review of Pragmatics, 6(1), 1–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Haugh, M. (2015). Im/politeness implicatures. Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Haugh, M., & Jaszczolt, K. (2012). Speaker intentions and intentionality. In A. Keith, & J. Kasia (Eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Pragmatics. Cambridge University Press 87–112.Google Scholar
  44. Higginbotham, J., & May, R. (1981). Questions, quantifiers, and crossing. The Linguistic Review, 1, 41–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Holt, E. (2016). Indirect reported speech in interaction. In A. Capone, F. Kiefer, & F. Lo Piparo (Eds.), Indirect reports and pragmatics. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  46. Huang, Y. (2014). Pragmatics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  47. Jaszczolt, K. (1999). Discourse, beliefs and intentions. Semantic defaults and propositional attitude ascription. Oxford: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  48. Jaszczolt, K. (2005). Default semantics: Foundations of a compositional theory of acts of communication. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Jaszczolt, K. (2016). Meaning in linguistic interaction. Semantics, metasemantics, philosophy of language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Kamp, H., & Reyle, U. (1993). From discourse to logic. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  51. Kecskes, I. (2014). Intercultural pragmatics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  52. Levinson, S. (1983). Pragmatics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  53. Levinson, S. (1988). Putting linguistics on a proper footing: Explorations in Goffman’s concepts of participation. In P. Drew, & A. Wootton (Eds.), Erving goffman. Exploring the interaction order (pp. 161227). Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  54. Levinson, S. (2000). Presumptive meanings. In The theory of generalized conversational implicature. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  55. Lyons, J. (1977). Semantics, 1-2. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  56. Macagno, F., & Capone, A. (Forthcoming). Uncommon ground. Intercultural pragmatics.Google Scholar
  57. Mey, J. L. (2001). Pragmatics. Oxford: Blackwell-Wiley.Google Scholar
  58. Mey, J. L. (2016). Pragmatics seen through the prism of society. In A. Capone & J. L. Mey (Eds.), Interdisciplinary Studies in pragmatics, culture and society. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  59. Moore, J. (1999). Saving substitutivity in simple sentences. Analysis, 59, 91–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Neale, S. (2007). Heavy hands, magic and scene-reading traps. EUJAP, 3/2, 77–131.Google Scholar
  61. Norrick, N. (2016). Indirect reports, quotation and narrative. In A. Capone, F. Kiefer, & F. Lo Piparo (Eds.), Indirect reports and pragmatics (pp. 93–113). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Norrick, N. (Forthcoming). Paper for the first international conference in pragmatics and philosophy. University of Palermo.Google Scholar
  63. Nunberg, G. (1995). Tranfers of meaning. Journal of Semantics, 12, 109–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Ostertag, G. (2008). Review of Stanley, language in context: Selected essays. Notredame Philosophical Reviews, May 25.Google Scholar
  65. Perry, J. (1986). Thought without representation. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 60, 137–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Pietroski, P. (2005a). Events and semantic architecture. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  67. Pietroski, P. (2005b). Meaning before truth. In G. Preyer & G. Peter (Eds.), Contextualism in philosophy: Knowledge, meaning and truth (pp. 255–302). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  68. Pitt, D. (2001). Alter egos and their names. Journal of Philosophy, 98, 531–552.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Predelli, S. (1999). Saul, salmon and superman. Analysis, 59(2), 113–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Recanati, F. (2001). What is said. Synthese, 125, 75–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Recanati, F. (2004). Literal meaning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  72. Recanati, F. (2010). Truth-conditional pragmatics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Richard, M. (2013). Context and the attitudes. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Roeper, T. (1987). Implicit arguments and the head-complement relation. Linguistic Inquiry 18, 267–310.Google Scholar
  75. Saka, P. (2016, May). Universal opacity. In First international conference in pragmatics and philosophy. University of Palermo.Google Scholar
  76. Saka, Paul. 2016. Paper for the 1st International conference on Pragmatics and philosophy, draft version.Google Scholar
  77. Salmon, N. (1986). Frege’s puzzle. Cambridge: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  78. Salmon, N. (2007). Content, cognition and communication. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Saul, J. (1997). Substitution and simple sentences. Analysis, 57, 102–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Saul, J. (2002). What is said and psychological reality; Grice’s project and relevance theory’s criticism. Linguistics & Philosophy, 25, 347–372.Google Scholar
  81. Saul, J. (2007). Simple sentences, substitution, and intuitions. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  82. Soames, S. (2002). Beyond rigidity. Oxford, OUP.Google Scholar
  83. Soames, S. (2015). Rethinking language, mind and meaning. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Stainton, R. (2009). Words and thoughts. In Subsentences, ellipsis, and the philosophy of language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  85. Stalnaker, R. (2014). Context (context and content). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  86. Stanley, J. (2002). Making it articulated. Mind & Language, 17, 149–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Stanley, J. (2005). Semantics in context. In G. Preyer & G. Peter (Eds.), Contextualism in philosophy: Knowledge, meaning and truth (pp. 221–254). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  88. Stanley, J. (2007). Language in context. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  89. Walczak, G. (2016). Robert Stalnaker, context. Journal of Linguistics.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022226716000062
  90. Weigand, E. (2009). Language as dialogue. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Wettstein, H. (2016). Speaking for another. In A. Capone, F. Kiefer, & F. Lo Piparo (Eds.), Indirect reports and pragmatics. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  92. Williamson, T. (1996). Knowing and asserting. Philosophical Review, 105, 489–523.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Williamson, T. (2016). Speculative philosophy. Royal Institute of Philosophy, 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q82S5eOJqEo&index=4&list=PLqK-cZS_wviAmKnOOb0UmgSzMI2tMLdER

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cognitive ScienceUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly

Personalised recommendations