The prosody of presupposition projection in naturally-occurring utterances

Taylor Mahler, Marie-Catherine de Marneffe, Catherine Lai

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In experimental studies, prosodically-marked pragmatic focus has been found to
influence the projection of factive presuppositions of utterances like these parents didn’t know the kid was gone (Cummins and Rohde, 2015; Tonhauser, 2016; Djarv and Bacovcin, 2017), supporting question-based analyses of projection (i.a., Abrusan, 2011; Abrusan, 2016; Simons ´ et al., 2017; Beaver et al., 2017). However, no prior work has explored whether this effect extends to naturally-occurring utterances. In a large set of naturally-occurring utterances, we find that prosodically-marked focus influences projection in utterances with factive embedding predicates, but not those with non-factive predicates. We argue that our findings support an account where lexical semantics of the predicate contributes to projection to the extent that they admit QUD alternatives that can be assumed to entail the content of the complement.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 24
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sep 2020
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

Publication series

Name Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung
ISSN (Print)2629-6055


ConferenceSinn und Bedeutung 24
Internet address


  • projective content
  • attitude predicates
  • non-factive predicates
  • prosody
  • information structure
  • Discourse
  • presupposition projection


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

Cite this