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How ‘Logical’ are Logical Words?

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Chapter Summary

One way of tackling the pragmatics of negation is to address three questions relating to logic, semantics, and pragmatics. In a nutshell, logical issue refers to the entailment relation between COR and NEG; the semantic issue refers to the scope of negation, or the scope of the semantic domain of negation; and the pragmatic issue concerns the discourse relationship between COR and NEG. This chapter aims at that negation as a three-sided operator in which all three properties converge. It gives a coherent picture of negation from a logical, semantic, and pragmatic point of view. In ordinary negation, the corrective sentence (COR) entails the negative one (NEG), whereas with metalinguistic negation, two situations arise. With upward negation, mainly with scalar predicates, COR entails the corresponding positive sentence (POS), whereas with a presuppositional negation, COR entails NEG and other entailed propositions, as presuppositions (PP).

Keywords: metalinguistic negation; pragmatics; presuppositions; semantics



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