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What is an actual presupposition?

 

Definition
 

An actual presupposition is any potential presupposition that is not canceled by its context.

Example (English)
 
  • The utterance John says that the king of France is bald has two potential presuppositions:

    • There is someone identified as John.
    • There is a king of France.

    Of these two, only the presupposition that there is someone identified as John is an actual presupposition, because the second presupposition is reported.

  • Kinds
      Here are some kinds of actual presuppositions:
     
    Generic
      An actual presupposition is a kind of
     
    Source
     

    Gazdar 1979 124


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