Causal connectives have presuppositions. Effects on coherence and discourse structure
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Readers may feel uncomfortable reading the sentence: Although Greta Garbo was considered to be the yardstick of beauty, she never married. “Why”, is their question, “does the writer want us to believe that normally, beautiful women marry?” The writer’s opinion they refer to, is not expressed in the sentence explicitly. However, all readers will infer this opinion, in order to make a sensible interpretation of the sentence: we expect beautiful women to marry, and the fact that Greta Garbo did not is an exception to this rule. The writer’s opinion is in fact a presupposition, triggered by the use of although. This book is a detailed study of the discourse semantic properties of causal connectives and their presuppositions. The interpretation process of connectives like although and because, and their Dutch counterparts, will be followed from the recognition of subtle meaning differences of a connective used in different contexts, an explanation for these differences in terms of presuppositions, an analysis of the way these presuppositions manipulate lexical knowledge to infer causal coherence relations and the effect of these coherence relations on antecedents of propositional anaphors in discourse structure. Everyone having an interest in semantics, pragmatics, discourse representation, argumentation, computational linguistics or the linguistic analysis of conjunction may want to read this book.