The puzzle of Reflexive Belief Construction in Spanish

  • Amir Anvari
  • Mora Maldonado
  • Andrés Soria Ruiz

Abstract

The Reflexive Belief Construction in Spanish, built by adjoining the reflexive pronoun se to the verb creer (believe), displays a puzzling interpretive behavior. When unembedded, creerse triggers the inference that its complement clause is false. When embedded under negation, it triggers the inference that its complement clause is true. We first argue that the negative inference in the unembedded case is not due to the Maximize Presupposition! principle (Heim, 1991), carving out the empirical profile of creerse along the way. We then explore two alternative explanations. The first is that creerse presupposes the falsity of its complement. The second is that creerse presupposes that the attitude holder is wrongly opinionated with respect to the embedded proposition. We argue that the first analysis fails unless it is supplemented with the syntactic account of neg-raising, whereas the second analysis faces empirical challenges. We leave the resolution of this dilemma to future work.
Published
2019-07-20
How to Cite
Anvari, A., Maldonado, M., & Soria Ruiz, A. (2019). The puzzle of Reflexive Belief Construction in Spanish. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 23(1), 57-74. https://doi.org/10.18148/sub/2019.v23i1.503