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By Franz Müller-Gotama

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Additional info for Grammatical Relations: A Cross-Linguistic Perspective on Their Syntax and Semantics

Sample text

The need to accessthe individual beliefs of the discourseparticipantsrequires that I adopt a version of Stalnaker's model that provides a fine-grained articulation of speaker and addresseebeliefs. 2 On DegreesofProbability The preceding discussion implicates probability as the most important dimensionto considerin developinga semanticsthat will resolveThe Paradox of Asserting Clarity. While I will proceedas if probability is the most importantdimensionto consider,I must emphasizeat the outsetthat probability cannot be the only relevant dimension.

In this case, it is not in fact clear that Briscoe is a detective, otherwise the addresseewould have realizedit on her own. Problem2 essentiallyrequiresthat the addresseebe an idiot. Shehasall the evidenceshe needsto realize that Briscoe is a detective,but she fails to take the last logical step. Such a situation is describedin (39). (39) a. b. c. d. Briscoeworks for the NYPD detectivedivision. Briscoe'spartneris a detective,DetectiveLogan. Briscoecarriesa pistol and magnifYing glasswheneverhe works.

Whateveran utteranceof (37b) is supposedto accomplish,it cannotbe done immediately after uttering (37a). This is becauseas soonas Briscoe'sstatusas a detectiveis in the CommonGround (as would be the caseimmediatelyafter an utterance of (37a»,it becomesimpossibleto assertthat Briscoeis a detective. This conclusion gives rise to a secondpuzzle, Problem2. In this case, it is not in fact clear that Briscoe is a detective, otherwise the addresseewould have realizedit on her own. Problem2 essentiallyrequiresthat the addresseebe an idiot.

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