[paper] König and Siemund, 2000. "Causal and concessive clauses: Formal and semantic relations."


König, Ekkehard, and Peter Siemund, 2000. "Causal and concessive clauses: Formal and semantic relations." In Couper-Kuhlen, Elizabeth, and Kortmann, Bernd (eds.) Cause-Condition-Concession-Contrast: Cognitive and Discourse Perspectives. Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 2000, pp. 341-360. 



It is an intuition of long-standing that concessive constructions are somehow the negative or contradictory counterpart of causal constructions. This intuition is expressed by terms like "incausal", "anticause" or "inoperant cause" that are frequently used istread of "concessive". It is shown that this intuition, which is supported by a wide variety of facts across languages, can be explicated by analysing the meaning of causal and concessive constructions in such a way that the external negation of the former is equivalent to the internal negation of the latter. A semantic analysis for concessive constructions is proposed which meets this criterion of adequacy. Furthermore, it is shown that this opposition between concession and causality can also be observed in "interactive patterns of conceding". What is negated in such interactrive schemas of concession is the assumption of an interlocutor that some fact is a reason for a specific conclusion. 


  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Causal and concessive connectives: phenomena in need of explanation 
  • 3. Some recent proposals
  • 4. Towards an explication 
  • 5. Discourse approaches to the analysis of concessive relations 
  • 6. Conclusion