Linguistics and Philosophy

, 29:205

Pragmatic Meaning and Non-monotonic Reasoning: The Case of Exhaustive Interpretation


DOI: 10.1007/s10988-005-3760-4

Cite this article as:
Schulz, K. & Van Rooij, R. Linguistics & Philosophy (2006) 29: 205. doi:10.1007/s10988-005-3760-4


In this paper an approach to the exhaustive interpretation of answers is developed. It builds on a proposal brought forward by Groenendijk and Stokhof (1984). We will use the close connection between their approach and McCarthy’s (1980, 1986) predicate circumscription and describe exhaustive interpretation as an instance of interpretation in minimal models, well-known from work on counterfactuals (see for instance Lewis (1973)). It is shown that by combining this approach with independent developments in semantics/pragmatics one can overcome certain limitations of Groenenedijk and Stokhof’s (1984) proposal. In the last part of the paper we will provide a Gricean motivation for exhaustive interpretation building on work of Schulz (to appear) and van Rooij and Schulz (2004).

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Language, Logic and Computation (ILLC)University of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands