Author(s)von Fintel, Kai
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This article introduces the classic accounts of the meaning of conditionals (material implication, strict implication, variably strict conditional) and discusses the difference between indicative and subjunctive/counterfactual conditionals. Then, the restrictor analysis of Lewis/Kratzer/Heim is introduced as a theory of how conditional meanings come about compositionally: if has no meaning other than serving to mark the restriction to an operator elsewhere in the conditional construction. Some recent alternatives to the restrictor analysis are sketched. Lastly, the interactions of conditionals (i) with modality and (ii) with tense and aspect are discussed. Throughout the advanced research literature is referenced while the discussion stays largely non-technical.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Linguistics and Philosophy; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Semantics: An international handbook of meaning, vol. 2
De Gruyter Mouton
Fintel, Kai von. “Conditionals.” Handbücher Zur Sprach- Und Kommunikationswissenschaft / Handbooks of Linguistics and Communication Science (January 14, 2011).
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