Presupposition

INTRODUCTION

Presupposition derived from the word to pre-suppose, its meant to suppose beforehand (previously suspected or alleged temporary), in the sense that before the speaker or writer said or wrote something he already had previous allegations about the other person or being discussed.

Actually, presuppositions (presupposition) is derived from the debates in the philosophy of science, especially of the nature of the referral (things, object / situation, and so on) that refer or refer to words, phrases, or sentences and phrases referral (Nababan through Lubis, 2011:61).

 

DEFINITIONS AND DISCUSSION

An expert pragmatics Yan Huang defines Presupposition as follows:“Presupposition can be informally defined as an inference or propostition whose truth is taken for granted in the utterance of a sentence.“ (Huang, 2007:65)

George Yule (2006:43) says that presupposition is something that is assumed by the speaker as an event before generating a speech. Speakers who have a presupposition is not a sentence.

Louise Cummings (1999:42) says that presuppositions are assumptions or inferences implicit in certain linguistic expressions.

Nababan (1987:46), providing a basic understanding of presumption or inference on the basis of the context and situation of the language (use language) which create a form language (sentence or phrase) has meaning for the listener or receiver’s language and vice versa, to help speakers define the forms language that can be worn to express the intended meaning or message.

Definition of presupposition:

A presupposition is background belief, relating to an utterance, that

  • must be mutually known or assumed by the speaker and addressee for the utterance to be considered appropriate in context
  • generally will remain a necessary assumption whether the utterance is placed in the form of an assertion, denial, or question, and
  • can generally be associated with a specific lexical item or grammatical feature (presupposition trigger) in the utterance.

From the definition and understanding of the above, then we can infer the meaning and function of the presumption is to provide assumptions or predictions are considered in accordance with the existing use of the spoken sentence is thus able to provide initial conclusions or assumptions speakers before making the speech that what would delivered well understood by the hearer.

Presupposition are what is taken by speaker to be the common ground of the participants in the conversation.

 

EXAMPLES

To better understand and clarify the function and use of presuppositions, we tries to give a few examples below:

a. I bought the book Laskar Pelangi by Andrea Hirata

b. The book was awarded the Best Seller, isn’t it?

From the example above conversation, example (a) we can find some assumption that there is a book entitled “Laskar Pelangi”, there was a writer named “Andrea Hirata”. Then of sample (b) has a relationship with the first conversation is a book written by Andrea Hirata titled Laskar Pelangi is one book that earned a Best Seller (Best Selling).

 

There are some examples of Presupposition:

a. I’ve heard a new song from Agnes Monica.

b. Coke Bottle?

A number (35%) answered yes to question (b). Because we can note that one of the speaker-presuppositions in asking (b) is that a new song from Agnes Monicathat the other person heard. Another questions with the same topic :

  1. What is the title of a new song Timbaland feat Agnes Monica?
  2. Coke Bottle?

One of the speaker-presuppositions in asking (c) is the title of a new song.In this situation, a significantly larger (53%) answered yes to question (d).

It is worth nothing that a number of subjects did not answer the d question in terms of turth or falsehood of fact, but according to what the speaker, in asking the preceding question, had appeared to presuppose.

 

The other examples :

The utterance John regrets that he stopped doing linguistics before he left Cambridge has the following presuppositions:

  • There is someone uniquely identifiable to speaker and addressee as John.
  • John stopped doing linguistics before he left Cambridge.
  • John was doing linguistics before he left Cambridge.
  • John left Cambridge.
  • John had been at Cambridge.

In the branch of linguistics known as pragmatics, a presupposition (or ps) is an implicit assumption about the world or background belief relating to an utterance whose truth is taken for granted in discourse. Examples of presuppositions include:

  • Jane no longer writes fiction.
    • Presupposition: Jane once wrote fiction.
    • Have you stopped eating meat?
      • Presupposition: you had once eaten meat.
      • Have you talked to Hans?
        • Presupposition: Hans exists.

 

CONCLUTION

A presupposition must be mutually known or assumed by the speaker and addressee for the utterance to be considered appropriate in context. It will generally remain a necessary assumption whether the utterance is placed in the form of an assertion, denial, or question, and can be associated with a specific lexical item or grammatical feature (presupposition trigger) in the utterance.

Crucially, negation of an expression does not change its presuppositions: I want to do it again and I don’t want to do it again both presuppose that the subject has done it already one or more times; My wife is pregnant and My wife is not pregnant both presuppose that the subject has a wife. In this respect, presupposition is distinguished from entailment and implicature. For example, The president was assassinated entails that The president is dead, but if the expression is negated, the entailment is not necessarily true.

 

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