Performative uses and the temporal interpretation of modals

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LAUER, Sven, 2015. Performative uses and the temporal interpretation of modals. 20th Amsterdam Colloquium 2015. Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Dec 16, 2015 - Dec 18, 2015. In: BROCHHAGEN, Thomas, ed., Floris ROELOFSEN, ed., Nadine THEILER, ed.. Proceedings of the 20th Amsterdam Colloquium. Amsterdam, pp. 217-226

@inproceedings{Lauer2015Perfo-33078, title={Performative uses and the temporal interpretation of modals}, url={}, year={2015}, address={Amsterdam}, booktitle={Proceedings of the 20th Amsterdam Colloquium}, pages={217--226}, editor={Brochhagen, Thomas and Roelofsen, Floris and Theiler, Nadine}, author={Lauer, Sven} }

2016-02-22T14:16:31Z Performative uses and the temporal interpretation of modals Expressions with a modal semantics vary with respect to whether they are suited to ‘performative uses’. Modals like must and have to can easily be used to give a command and hence create an obligation, but the same does not seem to be true for predicates like be obligated to and be under an obligation to. This fact poses a challenge for an otherwise attractive class of analyses that take the ‘performative effect’ (i.e., the creation of an obligation) to arise pragmatically from a claim made with the usual, descriptive modal semantics. Seeing as the different modals are typically assigned the same truth-conditional content, a pragmatic account predicts that there should not be a difference in the availability of performative uses.<br />In this paper, I will explore possible avenues for meeting this challenge while preserving the attractive features of a pragmatic account. My starting point will be the observation that certain commonly-made assumptions about temporal interpretation in fact block a pragmatic derivation of the performative effect. Then I will consider how this conclusion can be avoided for modals that have performative uses. We either have to assume that these modals have a more liberal temporal interpretation or that the performative effect arises in a different manner than assumed by existing accounts. Quite independently from the issue of anti-performativity, this paper demonstrates that two seemingly independent phenomena—temporal interpretation and performative uses of modals—are in fact intertwined, hence we can shed light on one by studying the other. Lauer, Sven 2016-02-22T14:16:31Z eng 2015 Lauer, Sven terms-of-use

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