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"I know that women don't like me!": Presuppositions in therapeutic discourse
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2009 (English)In: Journal of Pragmatics: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language Studies, ISSN 0378-2166, Vol. 41, no 4, 721-737 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

One of the biggest problems concerning presuppositions has been correctly dealing with their sensitivity to the context, i.e. why inferences triggered by certain expressions do not project out in all linguistic environments, even though the triggering words preserve their semantic content in different settings. The answer which is of particular interest here goes along with the principles of the binding theory of presuppositions developed by van der Sandt (1992). According to this theory, presuppositions behave asanaphors and can be resolved in the same way at the level of discourse representation.

This article contributes to a very scarce body of empirical work on presuppositions, as it scrutinizes examples of presuppositions that act like discourse anaphors in the context of three psychotherapeutic sessions. Such sessions can be analyzed in the same way as ordinary spoken discourse; however, the initial premise that the usage of presuppositions differs in this genre in comparison to daily interaction is confirmed. The results of both quantitative and qualitative analysis indicate that presuppositions are used for different strategic reasons in the two genres compared, which influences the way they should be interpreted and also their frequency.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 41, no 4, 721-737 p.
Keyword [en]
National Category
Specific Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-19151ISI: 000264360300005OAI: diva2:185674
Available from: 2009-02-26 Created: 2009-02-26 Last updated: 2011-01-10Bibliographically approved

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