Givenness and Maximize Presupposition

  • Ivona Kučerová


Based on word order patterns in Czech, I argue that a cross-linguistically common partitioning of a sentence between given and new material is a result of an interplay of independently needed pragmatic notions: the Maximize Presupposition principle of Heim (1991) and presupposition failure. I formalize the intuition by introducing presuppositions by a freely insertable recursive operator which applies upwards and which adds to each successive argument an existential presupposition (cf. Sauer- land 2005). Movement in this approach is free but dispreferred and it is licensed only if it leads to an interpretation which would not be available otherwise (along the lines of Fox (2000, 1995); Reinhart (1995)). The resulting structure is licensed by the interfaces only if it satisfies Maximize presupposition and does not lead to presupposition failure.
How to Cite
Kučerová, I. (2019). Givenness and Maximize Presupposition. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 12, 353-366.