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What is an ascertainment relation?



An ascertainment relation is an internal alternative relation in which a following proposition presents an alternative circumstance where a preparatory condition, of the illocutionary act that includes the previous proposition, is not met. The alternative is presented to make a query about the defectiveness or nondefectiveness of the illocutionary act.

Examples (English)
  • Do you want a sandwich? Or, aren’t you hungry?
  • Congratulations with your new car. Or, aren’t you happy with it?
  • Shut up! Or, don’t you see I’m busy?

Dijk 1981 170

  An ascertainment relation is a kind of

Dijk 1981 170–171

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