Free Choice in Deontic Inquisitive Semantics (DIS)

  • Martin Aher
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7218)


We will propose a novel solution to the free choice puzzle. The approach is driven by empirical data from legal discourse and does not suffer from the same problems as implicature-based accounts. Following Anderson’s violation-based deontic logic, we will demonstrate that a support-based radical inquisitive semantics will correctly model both the free choice effect and the standard disjunctive behaviour when disjunctive permission is embedded under negation. An inquisitive semantics also models the case when disjunctive permission is continued with “but I do not know which” which coerces an ignorance reading. We also demonstrate that a principled approach to negation provides a monotonic but restricted definition of entailment, which solves the problem of strengthening with a conjunct that is used as a counterargument against violation-based accounts.


World Trade Organization Free Choice Epistemic Possibility Natural Language Semantic Compositional Semantic 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Aher
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Cognitive ScienceUniversity of OsnabrueckGermany

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