NAME; THEODORE MORUPISI
ID NO; 201100392
Semantics is the study of linguistic meaning. It is one of the many levels of language analysis such as Phonetics which deals sound, Phonology sound patterns, Morphology word structure as well as syntax which deals with sentence structure. Semantics also concerns its self with the relationship meaning between words, phrases and sentences. Without semantic speech is meaningless sound.
Presuppositions are assumptions that something is the case when making utterance. They are implications that are often felt to be in the background to be assumed by the speaker to be already known by addressee. One can also add that presuppositions are implications that are usually felt in the background, they have a hidden meaning.
According to Kreidler 1998, Presupposition is the information that must be assumed for a sentence to be meaningful. Eg, Have you stopped beating your wife? Presupposesthat the addressee is an adult male and has wife.
1. Do you regret killing him?
* Presupposes that you have killed someone
2. Have you stopped beating you wife?
* Presupposes that you are beating your wife.
3. The U.B president is a very smart man.
* presupposes that UB has a president, and that he is smart.
4. The University of Botswana minister of Finance is bald
* Presupposes that the University of Botswana has a minister of Finance
Presupposition does not establish the truth of anything. The sentence only becomes true if for example, if the University of Botswana has a minister of finance, and if that minister is bald.
Entailment is a relation between sentence meaning or propositions. Entailment happens when one makes a necessary conclusion from a particular word. It is believed that entailment phrases are relations between propositions. They are said to be that if A is true then B. Entailment highly depends on denotation. For example, if it is a shoe then it has to by worn by foot, and if it is a car, then it has to be a mode of transport with four wheels and an engine. To judge and recognize entailment correctly and accurately, a strong word of denotation is required. That is to say for entailment to be true, the ‘then’ statement must always be true when the ‘if’ statement is true. Entailments are propertiesof a sentence.
Kgotla broke the door. – The door broke.
Boitumelo and Malebogo went to school. – Malebogo went to school.
The president is assassinated.- The president is dead.
Whenever A is true then B must also be true, that is A entails B.
CHARACTERISTICS OF ENTAILMENTS
Entailments depend on sentence meaning not context and sentences not speakers have entailments
CHARACTERISTICS OF PRESUPPOSITIONS
Presuppositions are shared by member of the family ‘s’ that is they remain constant and do no not change under the following environments,
Embedded under modal verbs, might
If we negate a sentence, its presupposition does not change. It remains the same. For example’
The chief of Masunga has brown hair.
Presupposes that there is a chief at Masunga.
If we take the same sentence and negate it the presupposition will remain the same.
1.a) The chief of of Masunga doesn’t have brown hair.
* Presupposes that there is a chief in Masunga.
Even though we negated the sentence, its presupposition remained the same it did not change.
1b)The University of Botswana minister of Finance is bald
Presupposes that there is a minister of Finance.
2b) The minister of Finance is not bald.
Even under negation, Presupposes that there is a minister of Finance.
2a) Does the chief of Masunga have brown hair?
* It still presupposes that Masunga has a chief, the presupposition still remains the same.
2b) Is the University of Botswana minister of Finance bald?
*still presupposes that the University of Botswana has a minister of finance.
EMBEDDED UNDER MODAL VERB
3a) The chief of Masunga might have brown hair.
*Presupposes Masunga has a chief
b) The University of Botswana minister of Finance might be bald.
*still presupposes University of Botswana has a minister of Finance.
TYPES OF PRESUPPOSITION
There are six main classes we use in analyzing how speakers’ assumptions are expressed. The types of presuppositions are as follows, Existential, Factive, Lexical structural, non factive Counter factual.
It describes the existence of the entities named or picked out by the speaker
Theodore has a girlfriend. – Presupposes that Theodore exists and he has a girlfriend
Suggests that something is true due to the presence of confirming verbs like, know, rrealize and phrases involving glad.
Example, I am glad its over.- we can presuppose that it is over
It is the assumption that by using one word the speaker can act as if another word will be understood.
You are late again.-you have been late before
You have started.- you are repeating the same action you were doing
When did you travel to Maun? –You travelled to maun
Where did you buy your book?
Non Factive Presupposition
Assumption that something is not true by the usage of verbs such as dream, imagine, pretend.
I dreamed I was married.- I am not married
We imagined we were studying science.- We are not studying science
Assumptions that what is presupposed is not only untrue but it is the opposite of what is contrary to the facts
Eg, If you were my daughter, I would not allow you to do this. –you are not my daughter.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ENTAILMENT AND PRESUPPOSITION
Entailment can be defined as the relationship between sentences or proportions whereas Presupposition is an assumption a speaker makes prior to making utterance. It is believed that entailment phrases are relations between propositions, whereas presupposition meaning is said and believed to be pragmatic-what we do with language. Sentences have entailments whereas speakers have presupposition. Presupposition may have more than just one speaker where as entailment is naturally logic and discusses less. Entailment truth of one sentence requires truth of the other..
Theodore’s son bought three cars.
Theodore has brothers
Theodore has only one brother
Theodore’s son bought something
He bought three cars
He bought one car
He bought two caes
Unlike presuppositions which do not change under negation, entailment would change completely when placed under negation. For example, Entailment
1a) The king was assassinated.
*The king died
b) Was the king assassinated?
2a) The king was assassinated.
*Presupposes that there is a king
b) Was the king assassinated?
Even after negation the presupposition still remains that there is a king, but with entailment the entail changes after negation.
SIMILARITIES BETWEEN ENTAILMENT AND PRESUPPOSITION
Both entailment and presupposition are related to meaning and they are both truth related approaches. According to Leech, both entailment and presupposition are types of meaning therefore they both need knowledge to get the idea of the sentence meaning
Kreidler W.C.,(1998). Introduction English semantics. London and Newyork. NY55frf5r