October 26, 2001

4:30pm, October 26, 2001
3rd floor conference room, College of Arts and Sciences Building 10, University of Tokyo Komaba campus
Makoto Kanazawa (University of Tokyo)
On Kratzer's situation semantics for counterfactuals

Kratzer (1989) proposed a semantics for counterfactuals based on situations, claiming it to be an improvement over Lewis-style ordering semantics (which, as Lewis (1981) proved, is equivalent to Kratzer's (1981) premise semantics). Kratzer's (1989) situation semantics for counterfactuals is a refinement of a naive version of premise semantics (not the premise semantics actually advocated by Kratzer 1981) and makes crucial use of the relation called `lumping' between propositions, understood as sets of possible situations.

A careful examination of Kratzer's (1989) definitions shows that her situation semantics for counterfactual conditionals make the construction truth-functional. Specifically, `would'-conditionals come out equivalent to material conditionals, and `might'-conditionals, simple conjunctions.

We discuss where the analysis goes wrong, and how one might try to rectify it.

This is joint work with Stanley Peters and Stefan Kaufmann.

Last modified: Sun Oct 21 15:01:06 JST 2001