Linguistics and Philosophy

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 71–100

A performadox in truth-conditional semantics

  • Steven E. Boër
  • William G. Lycan

DOI: 10.1007/BF00351814

Cite this article as:
Boër, S.E. & Lycan, W.G. Linguistics and Philosophy (1980) 4: 71. doi:10.1007/BF00351814


An argument is developed at some length to show that any semantical theory which treats superficially nonperformative sentences as being governed by performative prefaces at some level of underlying structure must either leave those sentences semantically uninterpreted or assign them the wrong truth-conditions. Several possible escapes from this dilemma are examined; it is tentatively concluded that such hypotheses as the Ross-Lakoff-Sadock “Performative Analysis” should be rejected despite their attractions.

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven E. Boër
    • 1
  • William G. Lycan
    • 1
  1. 1.The Ohio State UniversityClumbusUSA

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