A relevance theoretic analysis of Not that sentences: “Not that there is anything wrong with that”

Gerald P. Delahunty


Not that sentences (NTSs), like the one in the title, have been little studied. This paper, based on a corpus of authentic instances of the form, provides the first thorough examination of the interpretations assigned to NTSs in context and an account for those interpretations. The brief version of the account is that the NTS structure encodes procedural instructions to the effect that NTSs are to be interpreted as the rejection of conclusions derived from contextual assumptions.

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