Assertion and the declarative mood

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Abstract

This chapter argues that assertion is fundamentally linguistic, in that it is a practice that can exist only in a speech community that has a linguistic form specified for the performance of assertions, i.e. a declarative mood-marker. Such a conception is required in order to distinguish assertion from other content-conveying linguistic acts, such as presupposition and implicature. The declarative mood also plays an information-structure role, but this can be separated from its role as an indicator of illocutionary force. Finally, while in human natural languages the declarative is a sentential mood, consideration of imaginary languages lacking the category of sentence shows that the declarative need not be sentential.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Assertion
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019

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