Paper: Non Standard Uses Of If

ACL ID E85-1032
Title Non Standard Uses Of If
Venue Annual Meeting of The European Chapter of The Association of Computational Linguistics
Session Main Conference
Year 1985

The present study examines the semantic problems involved in computing the meaning of the non standard uses of if. The central question is whether or not it is necessary to introduce different meanings of if. Austin proposed two non standard meanings for if. We show that these can be accounted for by the standard meaning together with shifts in the position of the speech act within the sentence. These uses of if are among the 9 different non standard uses which we found in a sample of if sentences taken from the Brown University corpus: 1. Counterfactuah If E had stuck to his plan he'd still be famous. 2. Factual: If R was a liar, he was also a canny gentleman. 3. Conditional speech act: You may come back to Strasbourg, now, if you wish. 4. Performative speech act: He vowed vengence on L, ...