Conditional sentences and reason sentences have an underlying identical inference structure. If the speaker does not commit himself to the truth of the protasis, the sentence is realized as a conditional sentence. On the other hand, if the speaker believes the truth of the protasis, the sentence instantiates as a reason sentence. This paper is mainly concerned with what Akatsuka (1985) calls 'newly-learned information', to the truth of which she claims the speaker cannot commit. I examine several counterexamples to her hypothesis and argue that they can be explained in terms of the interaction between the inherent semantic properties of conditional and reason sentences on the one hand and discourse factors on the other.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health