Chapter 2What’s a reading?
Linguists sometimes assume that the readings associated with linguistic utterance, both explicit and implicit, are self-evident. I here problematize the concept of a reading associated with linguistic expressions, and restrict it to interpretations systematically intended by the speaker using the utterance. This is a stronger condition than is sometimes adopted, namely, meshing the utterance with the objective reality that must lie behind the utterance (according to the speaker). I reanalyze assumptions commonly considered part of the reading associated with and, or and scalar quantifiers as Background or as Truth-Compatible inferences. On this account, these assumptions do not fall under the speaker’s communicative intention, and therefore do not constitute readings.
- 2.Tests identifying interpretation status
- 2.1(Un)faithful report tests
- 2.2The including/excluded test
- 4.Scalar quantifiers
- 5.So-called exclusive or interpretations
- 6.Summary and conclusions