The prosody of presupposition projection in naturally-occurring utterances

Taylor Mahler, Marie-Catherine de Marneffe, Catherine Lai

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Some accounts of presupposition projection predict that pragmatic focus influences whether the presupposition projects (i.a., Abrusan 2011, 2016; Simons et al. 2017; Beaver et al. 2017). In several experimental studies, prosodically-marked pragmatic focus has indeed been found to influence the projection of factive presuppositions of utterances like these parents didn’t know the kid was gone (Cummins & Rohde 2015; Tonhauser 2016; Djarv & Bacovcin 2017). However, no prior work has explored whether this effect extends beyond lab speech to naturally-occurring utterances. In this paper, we investigate the relation between prosodically-marked focus and projection in a large set of naturally-occurring utterances. We find that prosodically-marked focus influences projection in utterances with factive predicates, but has no effect in utterances with non-factive predicates. Our findings therefore point toward an analysis of projection in terms of interacting information-structural utterance properties and lexically-encoded content.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Sep 2019
EventSinn und Bedeutung 24: Osnabrück 2019 - Institute of Cognitive Science and the Institute of Philosophy at Osnabrück University, Osnabrück, Germany
Duration: 4 Sep 20197 Sep 2019
Conference number: 24


ConferenceSinn und Bedeutung 24
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'The prosody of presupposition projection in naturally-occurring utterances'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this