Even if, factivity and focus

  • Elena Guerzoni
  • Dongsik Lim

Abstract

Pollock (1976) observes that some, but not all, even-if-conditionals appear to convey the speaker's commitment to the truth of their consequent, a phenomenon Lycan (1991) dubbed as the 'consequent-entailment problem.' Providing an account of this phenomenon within a unified and compositional theory of even-if-conditionals has proven to be far from trivial (c.f. Bennett 1982, Lycan 1991, Barker 1994, Lycan 2001, Bennett 2003). This paper argues that once the focus and scope of even (in the sense of Rooth 1985-1996's theory of association with focus) are correctly singled out, the truth of the consequent in the relevant cases follows as an entailment of the assertion together with the existential presupposition of even. This view is argued to be preferable over previous attempts in that it provides a compositional and unified analysis of even if conditionals which builds on independently justified theories of even and of focus association (c.f. Horn 1969, Karttunen and Peters 1979, and Rooth 1985).
Published
2019-08-07
How to Cite
Guerzoni, E., & Lim, D. (2019). Even if, factivity and focus. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 11, 276-290. https://doi.org/10.18148/sub/2007.v11i0.645