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ENTAILMENT= implicar, suponer, conllevar/ vínculo

* Look at the following “slips” from radio and television announcers. What’s wrong here?:
1) it’s been an amazing year for Crystal Palace over the past 12 months.
2) The robbery was committed by a pair of identical twins, both are said to be about age 20.
3) Send in your competition answers with your name, age, and how old you are.
4)So you’re a housewife and a mother. Do you have any children?

What redundancy can you find?

We normally do not expect people to tell us something we already know. Embedded in every utterance is a considerable amount of “understood” information which comes from our knowledge of the language itself

* The “Slips” in this exercises give or ask for redundant information,information which can be automatically inferred from the meanings of words the speaker has already used. If you know the meaning of year, twins, age and mother, then you also know that a year is 12 months long; twins are the same age and are 2; your age is how old you are; and a mother has at least one child.

EARTHLING (lingüística terrestre)

Pretend that you have just arrived fromanother planet. you have learned the vocabulary and grammar of English, but you have never visited Earth before, nor have you ever met or spoken to another Earthling. As is the custom on your planet, you interpret everything you hear literally. Your job is to decide whether each of these sentences is true or false:
* My mother is a woman
* My mother is a doctor
* The tiger isunhappy
* The tiger is an animal
* My mother is a boy
* The tiger is a reptile


* Without knowing anything about mother and tiger , you can quite easily answer True to a) and d) because of your knowledge of English. These statements are necessarily true because of the meaning relationship between the words mother and woman/ tiger andanimal. These types of sentences are sometimes referred to as “ANALYTIC SENTENCES”.
* Similarly, given that you interpret everything literally, you can easy answer FALSE to e) and f). The meanings of mother ,boy , tiger and reptile make such sentences necessarily FALSE or CONTRADICTIONS. However, b) and c) present you with a problem. They may or may no be TRUE . You can not verify the Truthor Falsity of those statements by looking in your dictionary. You would need other, non-linguistic, information about my mother and the particular tiger I am referring to.


* These are sometimes referred to as SYNTHETIC SENTENCES. If it turns out that my mother actually is a doctor or that the tiger is unhappy. We would say that these statements areSYNTHETICALLY TRUE. That is, their truth is based on what is happening in the world, not on what is happening in the language. Similarly, if my mother is an engineer rather than a doctor and the tiger is quite happy, we would say that these statements are SYNTHETICALLY FALSE


Assume that sentence a) in each pair is synthetically true. Then look at sentence b) anddecide if you can assume that it is automatically TRUE given the truth of a)
* Annie caught a trout
* Annie caught a fish

* Annie is thin
* Annie is not fat

* Annie baked a cake
* Annie baked something

* The answer is YES in all 3 cases. Once we establish the truth of sentence a), sentence b) becomes automaticallytrue because of the meaning relationships between trout /fish , thin/ fat , and cake/ something.
* In each case we can say that sentence b) is an ENTAILMENT of sentence a). All sentences have a number of entailments. That is, other sentences which are automatically true if the original sentence is true.
* The thing about entailment is that this kind of inference is “for free”. It...
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