Friday, 19 June 2015

Misconstruing Positive Condition As Concessive

Martin (1992: 200):
Concessive conditionals can be further subclassified according to the universality of the contingency denied.  Single, alternative and universal concessive contingency is illustrated below:
CONDITIONAL/CONCESSIVE: SINGLE
[4:81]  Even if we get that judge again
            we'll win. 
CONDITIONAL/CONCESSIVE: ALTERNATIVE
[4:81]  Whether we get that judge again or not
            we'll win. 
CONDITIONAL/CONCESSIVE: UNIVERSAL
[4:81]  Whichever judge we get
            we'll win.

Blogger Comments:

[1] Neither the 'alternative' nor the 'universal' agnate involves the logical relation of condition: concessive — if P then contrary to expectation Q.  Both involve the logical relation of positive condition — if P then Q.  Winning is not contrary to expectation under either condition.

[2] This confuses enhancement (condition) with extension (alternation).  Here the logical relation of extension: alternationX or Y — is realised in the clause nexus forming the condition (whether … or not).

[3]
 Therefore, the difference between the three conditionals is not "according to the universality of the contingency denied".

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