1887
Volume 20, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1571-0718
  • E-ISSN: 1571-0726
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Abstract

Abstract

A sentence like (‘María looks very pretty’) attributes the property of being pretty to María but also conveys the assumption that the state-of-affairs described is based on direct experience. Several explanatory hypotheses are found in the literature to account for this fact: (i) experientiality is a property of the copula ; (ii) experientiality is an effect of contextual factors; and (iii) experientiality is the result of resolving the aspectual mismatch produced by combining with an Individual-Level Predicate (ILP). To test the predictions of these hypotheses, a comprehension-based survey was carried out. Participants were given isolated copular sentences with followed by either an ILP or an SLP (Stage-Level Predicate). Using a 5-point Likert scale, they had to rate how likely it was that the utterer had direct experience about the quality s/he was asserting. The results show a significant preference for the experiential interpretation in +ILP, an outcome that is consistent only with the hypothesis that the linguistic mismatch found in +ILP is enough to induce the accommodation of a direct experience presupposition.

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2023-08-24
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