Entailment (linguistics)

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Definition of Entailment in Linguistics
– Entailments arise in natural language.
– A sentence entails another sentence if the second sentence cannot be true without the first one being true as well.
– Linguistic entailments are based on the semantics of linguistic expressions.
– Entailments are enforced by lexical meanings and the laws of logic.
– Entailment is different from implicature and presupposition.

Examples of Entailment
– The sentence ‘Pat is a fluffy cat’ entails the sentence ‘Pat is a cat.’
– The sentence ‘The king of France is bald’ presupposes that there is a king of France.
– Entailments can be determined using the negation test.

Contrast with Implicature
– Implicatures are fallible inferences, while entailments are enforced by lexical meanings and logic.
– Implicatures and entailments are different pragmatic notions.
– Implicatures can be canceled or strengthened, while entailments cannot.

Contrast with Presupposition
– Presuppositions are assumptions taken for granted in a sentence.
– The sentence ‘The king of France is bald’ presupposes the existence of a king of France.
– Presuppositions survive when a sentence is negated, unlike entailments.

Related Concepts and Further Reading
– Downward entailing, formal semantics, implicature, loaded question, and logical consequence are related concepts.
– Additional readings on entailment and related topics can be found in the references section.
– The article on entailment in SPARQL 1.1 provides further information on entailment regimes. References: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entailment_(linguistics)

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Entailment (linguistics)