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date: 22 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter argues that assertion is fundamentally linguistic, in that it is a practice that can exist only in a speech community that has a linguistic form specified for the performance of assertions, that is, a declarative mood marker. Such a conception is required in order to distinguish assertion from other content-conveying linguistic acts, such as presupposition and implicature. The declarative mood also plays an information-structure role, but this can be separated from its role as an indicator of illocutionary force. Finally, while in human natural languages the declarative is a sentential mood, consideration of imaginary languages lacking the category of sentence shows that the declarative need not be sentential.

Keywords: assertion, presupposition, implicature, declarative mood, information structure

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