New Date!

Workshop "Processing Presuppositions:
Theoretical and Methodological Approaches"

19. & 21. October 2020 , University of Tübingen



Organized by Project B1 and Project B2 of the SFB 833

Organizers: G. Armenante, P. Augurzky, N. Balbach, O. Bott, M. Franke, G. Jäger, M. Janczyk, F. Schlotterbeck, C. Schneider, B. Stolterfoht, R. Ulrich.

Workshop Venue: University of Tübingen (held virtually via Zoom web conferencing)

In order to get the zoom link, please register by email to: pspprocessingspam prevention@sfb833.uni-tuebingen.de     

Invited Speakers

Nadine Bade (ENS Paris), Chris Cummins (University of Edinburgh), Jakub Dotlačil (University of Amsterdam), Jacopo Romoli (Ulster University), Philippe Schlenker (Institut Jean-Nicod, CNRS; New York University), Einat Shetreet (Tel Aviv University)


Workshop Description

Presuppositions have received considerable attention in linguistic theory over the past decades, with a surge of experimental work in this domain in recent years.

Most work on presupposition theory has focused on two main issues: ‘the triggering problem’ (Abrusán, 2016; Beaver, 1997; Schwarz, 2016) and ‘the projection problem’ (Beaver, 1997; Schwarz, 2016). While the former is associated with the source of presuppositional content, which has been argued to stem from lexical material (the semantic view; e.g., Frege, 1892 and Strawson, 1950) or from expectations formed by discourse participants (the pragmatic view; see Stalnaker, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1998), the latter is concerned with when and why presuppositions in embedded clauses can be maintained - an issue that is still under debate.

Although no consensus has thus been reached on a viable theory of presupposition, empirical research has grown in importance by drawing from psycholinguistic methods. These, in return, provide means to test subtle predictions of various competing theoretical proposals and enhance our understanding of natural language processing (e.g., Brasoveanu & Dotlačil, 2015; Chemla & Schlenker, 2012; Domaneschi & Di Paola, 2018; Schwarz, 2015; Schwarz & Tiemann, 2017; Shetreet, Alexander, Romoli, Chierchia & Kuperberg, 2019). To this end,  the time course of presupposition processing promises to offer insights that are essential to the modeling of incrementality. 

The workshop aims at providing a forum for those scholars whose research tackles current issues in presupposition theory and is especially grounded in empirical evidence.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Incremental and predictive processing of presupposition resolution
  • Presupposition projection and accommodation
  • Processing of presuppositions in relation to other pragmatic inferences
  • Appropriateness of experimental methods used to test predictions for presupposition-related phenomena



Abrusán, M. (2016). Presupposition cancellation: explaining the ‘soft–hard’ trigger distinction. Natural Language Semantics, 24(2), 165-202.

Beaver, D. I. (1997). Presupposition. In J. van Benthem & A. ter Meulen (Eds.), Handbook of logic and language (pp. 939-1008). North-Holland.

Brasoveanu, A., & Dotlačil, J. (2015). Incremental and predictive interpretation: Experimental evidence and possible accounts. In S. D’Antonio, M. Moroney, & C.-R. Little (Eds.), Semantics and linguistic theory (SALT) (Vol. 25, pp. 57-81). LSA and CLC Publications. doi:10.3765/salt.v25i0.3047

Chemla, E. & Schenker, P. (2012). Incremental vs. symmetric accounts of presupposition projection: An experimental approach. Natural Language Semantics, 20(2), 177-226. 

Domaneschi, F., & Di Paola, S. (2018). The Processing Costs of Presupposition Accommodation. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 47(3), 483-503.

Frege, G. (1892). Über Sinn und Bedeutung. Zeitschrift für Philosophie und philosophische Kritik, N.F.,  100(1), 25-50.

Schwarz, F. (Ed.). (2015). Experimental Perspectives on Presuppositions. Studies in Theoretical Psycholinguistics (Vol. 45), Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. ISBN: 978-3-319-07979-0

Schwarz, F., & Tiemann, S. (2017). Presupposition projection in online processing. Journal of Semantics, 34(1), 61-106.

Schwarz, F. (2019). Presuppositions, Projection, and Accommodation. In C. Cummins & N. Katsos (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Experimental Semantics and Pragmatics (pp. 83-113). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Shetreet, E., Alexander, E. J., Romoli, J., Chierchia, G., & Kuperberg, G. (2019). What we know about knowing: Presuppositions generated by factive verbs influence downstream neural processing. Cognition, 184, 96-106.

Stalnaker, R. (1972). Pragmatics. In D. Davidson & G. Harman (Eds.), Semantics of Natural Language (2nd ed., pp. 389–408). Dordrecht, Holland: D. Reidel Publishing Company.

Stalnaker, R. (1973). Presuppositions. The Journal of Philosophical Logic, 2(4), 447–457.

Stalnaker, R. (1974). Pragmatic Presuppositions. In M. Munitz & P. Unger (Eds.), Semantics and Philosophy: [Essays] (pp. 197-214). New York University Press.

Stalnaker, R. (1998). On the Representation of Context. Journal of Logic, Language & Information, 7(1), 3-19.  

Strawson, P. F. (1950). On referring. Mind, 59(235), 320-344.