Advertisement

What ‘must’ adds

  • Matthew MandelkernEmail author
Open Access
Article

Abstract

There is a difference between the conditions in which one can felicitously use a ‘must’-claim like (1-a) and those in which one can use the corresponding claim without the ‘must’, as in (1-b):
$$\begin{aligned}&\hbox {(1)} \,\,\quad \hbox {a. It must be raining out}.\\&\qquad \,\,\, \hbox {b. It is raining out}. \end{aligned}$$
It is difficult to pin down just what this difference amounts to. And it is difficult to account for this difference, since assertions of  \(\ulcorner \)Must p\(\urcorner \)  and assertions of p alone seem to have the same basic goal: namely, communicating that p is true. In this paper I give a new account of the conversational role of ‘must’. I begin by arguing that a ‘must’-claim is felicitous only if there is a shared argument for the proposition it embeds. I then argue that this generalization, which I call Support, can explain the more familiar generalization that ‘must’-claims are felicitous only if the speaker’s evidence for them is in some sense indirect. Finally, I propose a pragmatic derivation of Support as a manner implicature.

References

  1. Aikhenvald, A. (2004). Evidentiality. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Barker, C. (2009). Clarity and the grammar of skepticism. Mind and Language, 24(3), 253–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barker, C., & Taranto, G. (2003). The paradox of asserting clarity. In P. Koskinin (Ed.), Western conference on linguistics (WECOL) (pp. 10–21).Google Scholar
  4. Bledin, J., & Rawlins, K. (2016). Epistemic resistance moves. In M. Moroney, C.-R. Little, J. Collard & D. Burgdorf (Eds.), Semantics and linguistic theory (SALT) (Vol. 26, pp. 620–640).Google Scholar
  5. Bronnikov, G. (2008). The paradox of clarity: Defending the missing inference theory. In T. Friedman & S. Ito (Eds.), Semantics and linguistic theory (SALT) (Vol. 18, pp. 144–157). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University.Google Scholar
  6. Crone, P. (2015). Asserting clarity & managing awareness. In N. Bade, P. Berezovskaya & A. Schöller (Eds.), Sinn und Bedeutung (Vol. 20, pp. 162–179).Google Scholar
  7. Degen, J., Kao, J. T., Scontras, G., & Goodman, N. D. (2015). A cost- and information-based account of epistemic must. Poster at 28th annual CUNY conference on human sentence processing.Google Scholar
  8. Degen, J., Trotzke, A., Scontras, G., Wittenberg, E., & Goodman, N. D. (2019). Definitely, maybe: A new experimental paradigm for investigating the pragmatics of evidential devices across languages. Journal of Pragmatics, 140, 33–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Faller, M. (2001). Remarks on evidential hierarchies. In D. Beaver, S. Kaufmann, B. Clark & L. Casillas (Eds.), Proceedings of the ‘Semfest’. Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications.Google Scholar
  10. Faller, M. (2002). Semantics and pragmatics of evidentials in Cuzco Quechua. Ph.D. thesis, Stanford University, Stanford, CA.Google Scholar
  11. Faller, M. (2012). Evidential scalar implicatures. Linguistics and Philosophy, 35(4), 285–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Franke, M. & de Jager, T. (2007). The relevance of awareness. In M. Aloni, P. Dekker & F. Roelofsen (Eds.), The sixteenth Amsterdam colloquium (pp. 91–96).Google Scholar
  13. Giannakidou, A., & Mari, A. (2016). Epistemic future and epistemic MUST: Nonveridicality, evidence, and partial knowledge. In J. Blaszack, A. Giannikidou, D. Klimek-Jankowska, & K. Mygdalski (Eds.), Mood, aspect and modality: What is a linguistic category?. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  14. Giannakidou, A., & Mari, A. (2018). A unified analysis of the future as epistemic modality: The view from Greek and Italian. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, 36(1), 85–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gillies, A. (2001). A new solution to Moore’s paradox. Philosophical Studies, 105(3), 237–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ginzburg, J. (1995a). Resolving questions. I. Linguistics and Philosophy, 18(5), 459–527.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ginzburg, J. (1995b). Resolving questions. II. Linguistics and Philosophy, 18(6), 567–609.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Goodhue, D. (2017). Must \(\varphi \) is felicitous only if \(\varphi \) is not known. Semantics and Pragmatics, 10(14).Google Scholar
  19. Grice, P. (1989). Studies in the way of words. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Groenendijk, J., Stokhof, M., & Veltman, F. (1996). Coreference and modality. In S. Lappin (Ed.), Handbook of contemporary semantic theory (pp. 179–216). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  21. Gunlogson, C., & Gregory, C. (2016). Predicates of experience. In J. van Wijnbergen-Huitink & C. Meier (Eds.), Subjective meaning. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  22. Hansson, S. O. (2016). Logic of belief revision. In E. Z. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy (Winter 2016 ed.). https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2016/entries/logic-belief-revision/.
  23. Hintikka, J. (1962). Knowledge and belief: An introduction to the logic of two notions. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Ippolito, M. (2017). Constraints on the embeddability of epistemic modals. In R. Truswell, C. Cummins, C. Heycock, B. Rabern & H. Rohde (Eds.), Sinn und Bedeutung (Vol. 21, pp. 605–622).Google Scholar
  25. Karttunen, L. (1972). Possible and must. In J. Kimball (Ed.), Syntax and semantics (Vol. 1, pp. 1–20). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  26. Katzir, R. (2007). Structurally-defined alternatives. Linguistics and Philosophy, 30(6), 669–690.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Katzir, R., & Singh, R. (2013). Hurford disjunctions: embedded exhaustification and structural economy. In U. Etxeberria, A. Fǎlǎuş, A. Irurtzun & B. Leferman (Eds.), Sinn und Bedeutung (Vol. 18, pp. 201–216).Google Scholar
  28. Kratzer, A. (1977). What ‘must’ and ‘can’ must and can mean. Linguistics and Philosophy, 1(3), 337–355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kratzer, A. (1981). The notional category of modality. In H. Eikmeyer & H. Rieser (Eds.), Words, worlds, and contexts: New approaches in word semantics (pp. 38–74). Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  30. Kratzer, A. (2012a). Modals and conditionals. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Kratzer, A. (2012b). What ‘must’ and ‘can’ must and can mean. In Modals and conditionals (pp 1–20). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Kripke, S. (1963). Semantical considerations on modal logic. Acta Philosophica Fennica, 16, 83–94.Google Scholar
  33. Kripke, S. (2009). Presupposition and anaphora: Remarks on the formulation of the projection problem. Linguistic Inquiry, 40(3), 367–386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lassiter, D. (2016). Must, knowledge, and (in)directness. Natural Language Semantics, 24(2), 117–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lauer, S. (2013). Towards a dynamic pragmatics. Ph.D. thesis, Stanford University, Stanford, CA.Google Scholar
  36. Lewis, D. (1979). Scorekeeping in a language game. Journal of Philosophical Logic, 8(1), 339–359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Lewis, D. (1988). Relevant implication. Theoria, 54(3), 161–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. MacFarlane, J. (2004). In what sense (if any) is logic normative for thought? Presented at the Central Division APA.Google Scholar
  39. Mandelkern, M. (2017a). Coordination in conversation. Ph.D. thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.Google Scholar
  40. Mandelkern, M. (2017b). A solution to Karttunen’s problem. In R. Truswell, C. Cummins, C. Heycock, B. Rabern & H. Rohde (Eds.), Sinn und Bedeutung (Vol. 21, pp. 827–844).Google Scholar
  41. Mandelkern, M. (2018). How to do things with modals. Mind and Language. https://philarchive.org/archive/MANHTD-2v1.
  42. Mandelkern, M. (2019a). Bounded modality. The Philosophical Review, 181(1).Google Scholar
  43. Mandelkern, M. (2019b). Modality and Expressibility. The Review of Symbolic Logic. https://philpapers.org/rec/MANMAE-3.
  44. Martin, S. (2016). Supplemental update. Semantics and Pragmatics, 9(5), 1–61.Google Scholar
  45. Matthewson, L. (2015). Evidential restrictions on epistemic modals. In L. Alonso-Ovalle & P. Menendez-Benito (Eds.), Epistemic Indefinites. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Mayr, C., & Romoli, J. (2016). A puzzle for theories of redundancy: Exhaustification, incrementality, and the notion of local context. Semantics and Pragmatics, 9(7), 1–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Montague, R. (1970). Universal grammar. Theoria, 36(3), 373–398.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Moore, G. (1942). A reply to my critics. In P. Schilpp (Ed.), The philosophy of G.E. Moore. Evanston: Northwestern University.Google Scholar
  49. Moss, S. (2015). On the semantics and pragmatics of epistemic vocabulary. Semantics and Pragmatics, 8(5), 1–81.Google Scholar
  50. Moss, S. (2018). Probabilistic knowledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  51. Murray, S. (2014). Varieties of update. Semantics and Pragmatics, 7(2), 1–53.Google Scholar
  52. Ninan, D. (2014). Taste predicates and the acquaintance inference. In T. Snider, S. D’Antonio & M. Weigand (Eds.), Semantics and linguistic theory (SALT) (Vol. 24, pp. 290–309).Google Scholar
  53. Ozturk, O., & Papafragou, A. (2015). The acquisition of epistemic modality: From semantic meaning to pragmatic interpretation. Language Learning and Development, 11(3), 191–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Potts, C. (2005). The logic of conventional implicatures. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  55. Roberts, C. (1998/2012). Information structure in discourse: Towards an integrated formal theory of pragmatics. Semantics and Pragmatics, 5(6), 1–69.Google Scholar
  56. Schlenker, P. (2008). Be articulate: A pragmatic theory of presupposition projection. Theoretical Linguistics, 34(3), 157–212.Google Scholar
  57. Schlenker, P. (2009). Local contexts. Semantics and Pragmatics, 2(3), 1–78.Google Scholar
  58. Scott, D. (1970). Advice on modal logic. In K. Lambert (Ed.), Philosophical problems in logic (pp. 143–173). Dordrecht: Reidel.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Sherman, B. (2018). Open questions and epistemic necessity. The Philosophical Quarterly, 68(273), 819–840.  https://doi.org/10.1093/pq/pqy025.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Silk, A. (2016). Discourse contextualism: A framework for contextualist semantics and pragmatics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Stalnaker, R. (1970). Pragmatics. Synthese, 22(1–2), 272–289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Stalnaker, R. (1973). Presuppositions. Journal of Philosophical Logic, 2(4), 447–457.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Stalnaker, R. (1974). Pragmatic presuppositions. In M. K. Munitz & P. Unger (Eds.), Semantics and philosophy (pp. 197–213). New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  64. Stalnaker, R. (1978). Assertion. In P. Cole (Ed.), Syntax and semantics (Vol. 9, pp. 315–322). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  65. Stalnaker, R. (2002). Common ground. Linguistics and Philosophy, 25(5–6), 701–721.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Stalnaker, R. (2014). Context. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Stephenson, T. (2007a). Judge dependence, epistemic modals, and predicates of personal taste. Linguistics and Philosophy, 30(4), 487–525.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Stephenson, T. (2007b). A parallel account of epistemic modals and predicates of personal taste. In E. Puig-Waldmueller (Ed.), Sinn und Bedeutung (Vol. 11, pp. 583–597).Google Scholar
  69. Stone, M. (1994). The reference argument of epistemic must. Proceedings of IWCS, 1, 181–190.Google Scholar
  70. Swanson, E. (2015). The application of constraint semantics to the language of subjective uncertainty. Journal of Philosophical Logic, 45(121), 121–146.Google Scholar
  71. van Kuppevelt, J. (1995). Discourse structure, topicality and questioning. Journal of Linguistics, 31(1), 109–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Veltman, F. (1985). Logics for conditionals. Ph.D. thesis, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  73. von Fintel, K., & Gillies, A. (2010). Must\(\ldots \)stay\(\ldots \)strong!. Natural Language Semantics, 18(4), 351–383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. von Fintel, K., & Gillies, A. (2018). Still going strong. https://semanticsarchive.net/Archive/GMzZTM0Y/. Accessed 19 Oct 2018.
  75. Willett, T. (1988). A cross-linguistic survey of the grammaticalization of evidentiality. Studies in Language, 12(1), 51–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Williamson, T. (2000). Knowledge and its limits. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  77. Wittgenstein, L. (2001/1953). Philosophical investigations (3rd ed.). Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
  78. Wolf, L., & Cohen, A. (2011). Clarity as objectivized belief. In P. Égré & N. Klinedinst (Eds.), Vagueness and language use (pp. 165–190). London: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Yablo, S. (2014). Aboutness. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  80. Yalcin, S. (2007). Epistemic modals. Mind, 116(464), 983–1026.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.All Souls CollegeUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

Personalised recommendations