Presuppositions and Pedigrees for Discourse Markers
Abstract Discourse Markers (DMs) such as therefore or but have been considered as conveying conventional implicatures (Grice), assertion-like information (Bach, Potts) or presuppositions (Berrendonner, Webber et al., Lagerwerf). This paper defends three claims. (1) Presuppositions and conventional implicatures are not distinct phenomena. Specifically, presuppositions are conventional implicatures that communicate that they are
already contained in the speaker's belief states at the time of utterance. (2) Consequence DMs presuppose (i) the existence of a proposition connected to the proposition they introduce by a consequence relation and (ii) the existence of a suitable consequence relation. (3) French data and similar English data show that many DMs are sensitive to the pedigree of the presupposed proposition, that is, its epistemic or, more generally, discourse status. A DRT representation is offered in the framework of binding theories (van der Sandt, Geurts) and related problems (e.g. modal accommodation) are discussed.