This book presents a comprehensive overview and discussion of the burgeoning field of presupposition theory, introducing a wealth of new data and critical commentary. Working within the recently developed framework of Dynamic Semantics, the author develops his own account of presupposition and solves some well-known problems of other accounts. According to the view developed, while semantics is concerned with information update, there is one part of the meaning of an utterance which requires no update: the utterance's presupposition.
Although this book assumes general understanding of pragmatics and semantics, the reader needs no prior familiarity with presupposition theory or recent dynamic approaches to the study of meaning. "This book is an excellent up-to-date introduction to the study of presupposition and presupposition projection. Technically sophisticated, Beaver's work does justice to the empirical and conceptual complexities of its subject matter, along with presenting many original ideas. If you suspect that presupposition was exhausted by the work of linguists and philosophers in the 1970's, this book shows why the topic has become fresh and exciting again."
-Irene Heim, Massachusetts Institute of Technology "This book provides an excellent overview of the issues and controversies of the field. The dynamic semantics developed in the second half of the book follows the direction charted by Karttunen and Heim in their early work, and gives an elegant solution to many problems that have plagued previous theories. Many books about presupposition have been written. This is the book to read."
-Lauri Karttunen, Xerox Palo Alto Research Center