A solution to Karttunen’s Problem

  • Matthew Mandelkern


There is a difference between the conditions in which one can felicitously assert a ‘must’-claim versus those in which one can use the corresponding non-modal claim. But it is difficult to pin down just what this difference amounts to. And it is even harder to account for this difference, since assertions of ˹Must φ˺ and assertions of φ alone seem to have the same basic goal: namely, coming to agreement that 〚φ〛 is true. In this paper I take on this puzzle, known as Karttunen’s Problem. I begin by arguing that a ‘must’-claim is felicitous only if there is a shared argument for its prejacent. I then argue that this generalization, which I call Support, can explain the more familiar generalization that ‘must’-claims are felicitous only if the speaker’s evidence for them is in some sense indirect. Finally, I sketch a pragmatic derivation of Support.
How to Cite
Mandelkern, M. (1). A solution to Karttunen’s Problem. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 21(2), 827-844. https://doi.org/10.18148/sub/2018.v21i2.170