‘Practical’, if that’s the word

Eimear Maguire


Abstract
Certain conditionals have something other than a clause as their consequent: their antecedent if-clauses are ‘adverbial clauses’ without a verb. We argue that they function in a way already seen for those with clausal consequents, despite lacking the content we might expect for the formation of a conditional. The use of the if-clause with sub-clausal consequents is feasible thanks to the fact that this function does not depend on the consequent content, and so is not impeded when the consequent does not provide a proposition, question or imperative. To support this we provide meaning rules for conditionals in terms of information state updates, letting the same construction play out in different ways depending on context and content.
Anthology ID:
2020.pam-1.1
Volume:
Proceedings of the Probability and Meaning Conference (PaM 2020)
Month:
June
Year:
2020
Address:
Gothenburg
Venue:
PaM
SIG:
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
1–7
Language:
URL:
https://www.aclweb.org/anthology/2020.pam-1.1
DOI:
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PDF:
http://aclanthology.lst.uni-saarland.de/2020.pam-1.1.pdf