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A New Type of Informative Tautology: Für Unbefugte Betreten Verboten!

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Chapter Summary

This chapter concerns with an unrecognized type of informative tautology, illustrated by the German subtitle of the paper, with the intended meaning 'Access to Authorized Persons Only'. In spite of the fact that signs with this wording can be found in many locations in German-speaking areas, and even are constitutive for rules that can be legally enforced, it is argued that Für Unbefugte Betreten Verboten (FUBV) literally expresses a tautology. The nature of the FUBV tautology is analyzed in detail. The chapter explains the informativity of FUBV as follows: natural language quantification, which includes conditional clauses and generic clauses, comes with a presupposition that the restrictor of the quantifier is non-empty. It addresses another aspect of natural-language quantification: quantifiers with explicit domain restriction implicate that their predication does not hold for the domain of discourse in general.

Keywords: conditional clauses; generic clauses; German speakers; informative tautology; natural language quantification



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