Title: The indefeasibility of the inference that 'if not A, then not C'
Authors: Van Canegem-Ardijns, Ingrid # ×
Issue Date: Jan-2010
Publisher: North-Holland Pub. Co.
Series Title: Journal of Pragmatics vol:42 issue:1 pages:1-15
Abstract: Content and, to a lesser degree, epistemic or inferential conditionals regularly invite
conditional perfection as a non-monotonic inference or conversational implicature. Conditional
perfection (henceforth CP) is the natural language tendency to perfect conditionals (if A then C) into
their corresponding biconditionals (if and only if A, then C) through the mediation of an if not-A,
then not-C conditional. In the literature there is some controversy regarding the pragmatic principle
by which CP is derived, but there seems to be silent agreement about the defeasibility of CP. In this
paper we argue that the if not-A, then not-C CP inference is indefeasible with particular conditional
utterance types where cancellation contrasts with the additional propositional attitude expressed by
those conditional utterance types. The indefeasibility of the if not-A, then not-C CP inference can
further be accounted for in terms of the pragmatic principle by which it is derived.
ISSN: 0378-2166
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Formal and Computational Linguistics (ComForT), Leuven
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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