Homework 1

Read: Karttunen 1976, "Discourse Referents", and answer the following questions.

Due: Thursday, January 30th

1. What is the main/overarching question that Karttunen is addresing in this paper?

2. Give some examples showing that the question does not have a completely obvious answer.

3. Karttunen provides a lot of acceptability judgments. Are there any acceptability judgments that you disagree with (for the corresponding sentences in your native language)? Feel free to add any additional information or thoughts that might be relevant.

4. How are modal verbs, implicative verbs, factive verbs and non-factive verbs different? (In addition to the Karttunen paper, feel free to look up more information about "implicative" and "factive" verbs on the internet.)

5. At one point, Karttunen comes to the generalization that "a discourse referent is established just in case the proposition represented by the sentence is asserted, implied, or presupposed by the speaker to be true", and then gives some apparent counterexamples to this generalization.

     a) What are the examples?

     b) What makes them counterexamples?

     c) How does Karttunen explain them?

6. Karttunen doesn't agree with the idea of a +/- "specific" feature. Why not?