Gradable Assertion Speech Acts
Yael Greenberg, Lavi Wolf
March 2018

This paper is inspired by two lines of thought in the semantic-pragmatic literature which are usually discussed separately, namely the view that some epistemic modals at the propositional level (e.g. modal adjectives) are gradable, and the view that speech acts are syntactically and compositionally active. Integrating these two views we suggest that assertion speech acts should be themselves modeled as gradable, and more specifically, that the covert speech act operator ASSERT denotes a (credence) degree relation, and is modifiable by overt and covert degree modifiers, manipulating this degree. We show that such a view enables capturing newly observed parallels between overt and covert degree modification of adjectives at the propositional level and some overt and covert modifiers of assertion speech acts.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004058
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Proceedings of NELS48
keywords: speech acts, assertions, gradability, degree modifiers, positive form, modal epsitemic adverbs, credence, probability, response partilces, semantics
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