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.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.