Language and Logic workshop:
New Directions in the Theory of Presupposition.


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The last ten years has seen a wealth of new developments on the topic of presupposition and, in particular, the projection problem for presupposition. While there had been considerable interest in the seventies in developing entirely pragmatic accounts of presupposition triggering and projection (Wilson, 1974, Stalnaker 1977, Grice, 1981), these accounts had generally not been sufficiently developed to match the dynamic accounts developed in the eighties in predictive power. Recent work, such as that of Schlenker (2006, 2008), however, has shown that broadly pragmatic accounts can also have considerable predictive power. In addition, trivalent approaches based on such techniques as supervaluations and the Strong Kleene connectives, which were dismissed by many long ago, have recently attracted new interest (Beaver and Krahmer, 2001, George, 2008, Fox, 2008) and have been shown capable of handling many empirical issues in presupposition projection. Thus there is no longer a clear consensus on how we should explain presupposition projection. In addition, experimental work has raised interesting questions about what the basic facts of presupposition projection are and suggests that real empirical work is needed to determine some of the subtleties (Chemla 2007). There has also been renewed interest in the triggering problem (Simons, 2001, Abusch, 2002) which naturally links up to the projection problem, as well as recent theoretical work on foundational issues such as the notion of common ground and accommodation (Beaver and Zeevat, 2004, von Fintel, 2001, 2006, Stalnaker, 2002). The purpose of this workshop is to bring together researchers on presupposition to discuss these new developments and connect some of the different theoretical and empirical questions, which are too often considered in isolation.