Incorporating agents' beliefs in a model of presupposition. Horton, D. Master's thesis, Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto, October, 1986. Published as technical report CSRI-201
Incorporating agents' beliefs in a model of presupposition [pdf]Paper  abstract   bibtex   

The full communicative content of an utterance consists of its direct meaning, as well as a variety of indirect information which can be inferred from the utterance. Presupposition is one category of such information.

Many theories of presupposition have been postulated. Most implicitly assume that presuppositions are facts, and that all agents involved in discourse share knowledge of them. We argue that these are unrealistic assumptions and propose a new view which considers presuppositions to be beliefs associated with particular agents. We then develop a definition of presupposition which embodies this view. We conclude that a model of presupposition which incorporates agents' beliefs, in addition to being more correct, is able to account for presuppositional phenomena which could not be accounted for otherwise.

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