Natural Language Semantics

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 111–178 | Cite as

(Un)conditionals

Article

Abstract

I give an account of the compositional semantics of unconditionals (e.g. Whoever goes to the party, it will be fun) that explains their relationship to if -conditionals in the Lewis/Kratzer/Heim tradition. Unconditionals involve an alternative-denoting adjunct (in English in particular, a question-denoting adjunct) that supplies domain restrictions pointwise (in the sense of Hamblin) to a main-clause operator such as a modal. The differences from if -clauses follow from the structure of the adjuncts; both are conditionals in the Lewisian sense. In the course of treating unconditionals, I provide a concrete implementation of conditionals where conditional adjuncts in general are a species of correlative, and show what detaching this hypothesis from if involves.

Keywords

Conditionals Questions Alternative semantics Indifference 

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cognitive Science DepartmentJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA

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