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Integrated pragmatic values
Christopher Potts
UMass Amherst
abstract
I adapt recent results by Merin, Blutner, Jaeger, Krifka, van
Rooy, and others to obtain integrated pragmatic values for
utterances, thereby moving towards a precise definition of
pragmatic felicity. I model speakers' perspectives with
probability distributions over the set of possible worlds. The
*quality-rating* of an utterance is an exponent of the
speaker's probability value for its propositional content. An
utterance's *quantity-rating* is the informativity of its
content relative to the addressee's probabilities. I ensure
that quality-ratings act as a check on quantity-ratings by
taking the product of the two. I employ the notion of
*relevance to a question* to further articulate these pragmatic
values and arrive at a notion of *maximally felicitous
utterance* (in context). I apply the ideas to a range of simple
question--answer scenarios, and I outline extensions of them
into the more challenging and novel areas of litotes (negative
understatement), pragmatic halos, discourse particles, and
bullshit.
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