The semantics and pragmatics of Norwegian sentence-internal jo
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionNordic Journal of Linguistics. 2019, 42 (1), 3-30. 10.1017/S0332586519000052
The paper proposes a refined analysis of the semantics and pragmatics of the Norwegian non-truth-conditional adverb jo (‘after all’, ‘of course’). According to the existing literature, jo indicates that the proposition is ‘given’ in some sense or other. Based on new empirical investigations, we argue that the relevance-theoretic notion mutual manifestness (Sperber & Wilson 1986/1995; Blass 2000) accurately captures the givenness aspect of jo, and we demonstrate through authentic examples what it means for a proposition to be mutually manifest. In addition to mutual manifestness, jo signals that the proposition is a premise for deriving a conclusion. The conclusion often – but not always – opposes someone’s view. We argue that the frequent opposition interpretations are a consequence of the nature of the procedures encoded by jo. In addition to clarifying the semantic and pragmatic properties of jo, the paper sheds light on the relevance-theoretic notion procedural semantics as well as illustrating its usefulness in the study of pragmatic particles.