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Rethinking Verb Second$
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Rebecca Woods and Sam Wolfe

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198844303

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198844303.001.0001

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Verb Second declaratives, assertion, and disjunction revisited

Verb Second declaratives, assertion, and disjunction revisited

Chapter:
(p.281) 12 Verb Second declaratives, assertion, and disjunction revisited
Source:
Rethinking Verb Second
Author(s):

Hans-Martin Gärtner

Jens Michaelis

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198844303.003.0012

This chapter revisits previous work (Gärtner and Michaelis 2010), which discusses the prospects of theories that derive the distribution of V2-declaratives from their affinity with assertive illocutionary force (potential). It reiterates the challenge disjunctive coordination of V2-declaratives poses to commitment-based contruals of assertion. Likewise, it restates the take on this challenge in earlier work which ‘weakens assertion’ to proposition-level intersection with the common ground. Against the backdrop of this proposal, two recent approaches to the ‘disjunction challenge’ are analysed: (i) a feature-transfer mechanism proposed by Julien (2015), which exempts V2-disjuncts from being directly asserted; (ii) a discourse model developed by Antomo (2016), which discards assertion and, instead, requires the content of V2-declaratives to be relevant to the current question(s) under discussion. The chapter shows that both these approaches run up against serious obstacles, compositionality in the former case, the hard to control flexibility of question-answer relations in context in the latter (among other things). It goes on to conclude that the ‘disjunction challenge’ to accounts of the distribution of V2-declaratives still stands.

Keywords:   assertion, illocutionary force, commitment-based, disjunction challenge, question under discussion, feature-transfer mechanism, discourse model, V2-declarative

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