ERIC Number: ED232443
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
On Presupposition and Speaker-Beliefs: Empirical Investigation of the Theoretical Distinction Between "Plugs" and "Holes."
Carrell, Patricia L.; Richter, Gabriela
Papers in Linguistics: International Journal of Human Communication, v14 n1 p47-67 1981
A study was conducted to verify Karttunen's (1973) theoretical linguistic distinction between verbs that function as "plugs" and those that function as "holes." Plugs are defined as performative verbs that block off a sentence's presuppositions so that they are not necessarily part of the speaker's own beliefs. Holes, on the other hand, are those verbs for which the presuppositions of the sentence necessarily form part of the speaker's beliefs. Adult native English speakers and adults learning English as a second language were administered a questionnaire with sentences containing plugs or holes. The subject's task was to judge for each sentence what the speaker of the sentence necessarily had to believe with respect to the presupposed information contained in the sentence. The results indicate that for both groups, the theoretical distinction between plugs and holes was not real. Both groups treated all the verbs as if they belonged to the category of holes. (Author/RW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Linguistic Research, Inc., Edmonton (Alberta).