Context, Cognition and Conditionals

  • Chi-Hé Elder

Table of contents

About this book


This book proposes a semantic theory of conditionals that can account for (i) the variability in usages that conditional sentences can be put; and (ii) both conditional sentences of the form ‘if p, q’ and those conditional thoughts that are expressed without using ‘if’. It presents theoretical arguments as well as empirical evidence from English and other languages in support of the thesis that an adequate study of conditionals has to go beyond an analysis of specific sentence forms or lexical items. The resulting perspective on conditionals is one in which conditionality is located at a higher level than that of the sentence; namely, at the level of thought. The author argues that it is only through adopting such a perspective, and with it, a commitment to context-dependent semantics, that we can successfully represent conditional utterances as they are used and understood by ordinary language users. It will be of interest to students and scholars working on the semantics of conditionals in the fields of linguistics (especially semantics and pragmatics) and philosophy of language.

Chi-Hé Elder is Lecturer in Linguistics in the School of Politics, Philosophy and Language and Communication Studies at the University of East Anglia, UK. Her research interests lie in the relationship between post-Gricean pragmatics and interactional pragmatics, with a particular focus on the semantics and pragmatics of conditionals.


truth conditions conditional utterances sentences meanings semantic theory syntactic structures International Corpus of English ICE-GB explicit meaning implicit meaning language and logic post-Gricean pragmatics typology

Authors and affiliations

  • Chi-Hé Elder
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication StudiesUniversity of East AngliaNorwichUK

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-13798-4
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-13799-1
  • Buy this book on publisher's site