Vague Utterances and Context Change

  • Alice Kyburg
  • Michael Morreau
Part of the Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy book series (SLAP, volume 73)


As a dialogue proceeds, utterances will be interpreted relative to a body of assumed common beliefs and suppositions. In keeping with a computational view of mind we shall suppose that these shared common beliefs and suppositions are represented in some way in the interpreter as the sentences of some language. Let a set of sentences representing common beliefs and suppositions be called a context. Utterances will be interpreted relative to contexts, but contexts, in turn, will change as a result of utterances. In the simplest case a context will grow. That is what will happen when an utterance in no way conflicts with the prior context. The resulting context will include the prior context together with representations of what is conveyed by the utterance.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alice Kyburg
  • Michael Morreau

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