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The ambiguity of sapere

Dahlman, Roberta Colonna LU (2017) In Italian Journal of Linguistics 29(2). p.3-28
Abstract

This paper discusses occurrences of Italian sapere ‘know’ in mental state attributions (sa). Following the proposal of Tsohatzidis (2012) for ‘knows’, the hypothesis put forward is that sa, when used in mental state attributions, is lexically ambiguous between a factive and a non-factive sense: when sa is used in its factive sense, a sentence such as X sa che p ‘X sa that p’ entails p, whereas, when sa is used in its non-factive sense, a sentence having the same surface form does not entail p. This hypothesis seems to be confirmed by some tests traditionally used to ascertain cases of lexical ambiguity. Moreover, it will be shown that there are syntactic environments where only one of the two readings is allowed, which also seems to... (More)

This paper discusses occurrences of Italian sapere ‘know’ in mental state attributions (sa). Following the proposal of Tsohatzidis (2012) for ‘knows’, the hypothesis put forward is that sa, when used in mental state attributions, is lexically ambiguous between a factive and a non-factive sense: when sa is used in its factive sense, a sentence such as X sa che p ‘X sa that p’ entails p, whereas, when sa is used in its non-factive sense, a sentence having the same surface form does not entail p. This hypothesis seems to be confirmed by some tests traditionally used to ascertain cases of lexical ambiguity. Moreover, it will be shown that there are syntactic environments where only one of the two readings is allowed, which also seems to confirm the hypothesis that there are two sa, a factive one and a non-factive one, which select different structures.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Factivity, Lexical Ambiguity, Mental state ascription, Sapere
in
Italian Journal of Linguistics
volume
29
issue
2
pages
26 pages
publisher
Rosenberg and Sellier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85042384596
ISSN
1120-2726
DOI
10.26346/1120-2726-108
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
62f36e9f-6b75-4fa4-8149-a446325605ce
date added to LUP
2018-03-07 14:39:11
date last changed
2020-03-24 06:05:49
@article{62f36e9f-6b75-4fa4-8149-a446325605ce,
  abstract     = {<p>This paper discusses occurrences of Italian sapere ‘know’ in mental state attributions (sa). Following the proposal of Tsohatzidis (2012) for ‘knows’, the hypothesis put forward is that sa, when used in mental state attributions, is lexically ambiguous between a factive and a non-factive sense: when sa is used in its factive sense, a sentence such as X sa che p ‘X sa that p’ entails p, whereas, when sa is used in its non-factive sense, a sentence having the same surface form does not entail p. This hypothesis seems to be confirmed by some tests traditionally used to ascertain cases of lexical ambiguity. Moreover, it will be shown that there are syntactic environments where only one of the two readings is allowed, which also seems to confirm the hypothesis that there are two sa, a factive one and a non-factive one, which select different structures.</p>},
  author       = {Dahlman, Roberta Colonna},
  issn         = {1120-2726},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {3--28},
  publisher    = {Rosenberg and Sellier},
  series       = {Italian Journal of Linguistics},
  title        = {The ambiguity of sapere},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.26346/1120-2726-108},
  doi          = {10.26346/1120-2726-108},
  volume       = {29},
  year         = {2017},
}