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Toward a Discourse Structure Account of Speech and Attitude Reports

By Antoine Venant


Abstract. This paper addresses the question of propositional attitude reports within Segmented Discourse Representation Theory (SDRT). In line with most SDRT discussions on attitudes reports, we argue that the reported attitude should be segmented in the same way as the rest of the discourse is. We identify several issues that are raised by the segmentation of attitude reports. First, the nature of some relations crossing the boundaries between main and embedded speech remains unclear. Moreover, such constructions are introducing a conflict between SDRT’s Right Frontier Constraint (RFC) and well established facts about accessibility from factual to modal contexts. We propose two solutions for adapting discourse structure to overcome these conflicts. The first one introduces a new ingredient in the theory while the second one is more conservative and relies on continuation-style semantics for SDRT.

Year: 2014
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