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September 24, 2018: R. Eckardt: The logic of evidentials: German wohl and Italian evidential future

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Seminars of Philosophy of Perception, Mind, and Language — Winter session, 2018


Regine Eckardt (Göttingen)

The logic of evidentials: German wohl and Italian evidential futureA Realistic Approach to Fiction


September 24, 2018: h. 15.00-17.00

Room Enzo Paci — Directorate of the Department of Philosophy, Via Festa del Perdono 7, Milano



An utterance wohl S in German indicates that the speaker believes S but is not absolutely certain. Zimmermann's (2008) analysis suggests that speaker x ASSUMES S rather than KNOWS S. The aim of my talk is to refine this analysis and align it with more data. I claim that wohl marks S as a defeasible inference from what the speaker knows. The inference  is defeasible — i.e. the speaker is prepared to withdraw it in the light of further evidence — and it is subjective — i.e., other speakers might come to different conclusions in the light of the same evidence. I discuss data that motivate these assumptions and present an analysis in the spirit of Kratzer (1991), Lewis (1978). A final work-in-progress part discusses the Italian evidential future and whether the same analysis is warranted in this case.

Active participation of the audience will be highly welcome.


The lecture will be held in English.

Participation is strongly recommended to students of the Doctoral School in Philosophy and Human Sciences.

Everyone interested is welcome to attend.


24 September 2018
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