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Story Update

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Chapter Summary

This chapter offers a more systematic survey of the observations, and proposes how the data can be captured in a formal way. The facts about story update offer substantial reasons for the specific implementation of context dependence. Our view of contexts-as variable assignments, and context-aspects as variables proves extremely useful when it comes to understanding and spelling out the nature of various kinds of story update in free indirect discourse. The chapter recapitulates Stalnaker's model of information gain as common ground update which is by now standard in truth conditional semantics. This standard model is applied to the case of storytelling and fiction, following an earlier proposal by Bauer & Beck. Apart from some adjustments which are necessary when moving from fact to fiction, this is also a good place to discuss a terminological friction between semantics and literary science in the way scholars talk about possible worlds.

Keywords: context dependence; contexts-as variable assignments; free indirect discourse; literary science; Stalnaker's model; systematic survey; truth conditional semantics

10.1163/9789004266735_004
/content/books/b9789004266735_004
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