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Accounting for the "causal link" between free adjuncts and their host clauses

Sarah Zobel
This paper investigates the causal interpretation of free adjuncts. These are non-clausal adjuncts that associate with an individual denoted by an argument of the main verb and contribute propositional content about that individual (e.g., being an Englishman in John, being an Englishman, is brave). Based on a comparison with since-clauses, I analyze causally interpreted free adjuncts as contributing presuppositional propositional content that provides supporting evidence for the speaker's main
more » ... the speaker's main claim. I argue that the "causal link" responsible for this interpretation is not contributed by the free adjunct but inferred. I propose that it is pragmatically necessary that the presuppositional content of the free adjunct is linked to the truth-conditional content of the host clause and that the causal flavor follows from general pragmatic requirements placed on the assertion act.
doi:10.18148/sub/2019.v23i2.626 fatcat:4yh27f4j5jcr3fp65ukxlzijwi