False Dilemma

A false dilemma (also called black-and/or-white thinking, bifurcation, denying a conjunct, the either-or fallacy, false dichotomy, fallacy of exhaustive hypotheses, the fallacy of false choice, the fallacy of the false alternative, or the fallacy of the excluded middle) is a type of informal fallacy that involves a situation in which limited alternatives are considered, when […]

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Presuppositions: Suggestive Questions

A Suggestive Question is one that implies that a certain answer should be given in response, or falsely presents a presupposition in the question as accepted fact. Such a question distorts the memory thereby tricking the person into answering in a specific way that might or might not be true or consistent with their actual […]

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Presuppositions: Complex Question Fallacy

A complex question fallacy or loaded question is a question which contains a controversial or unjustified assumption (e.g., a presumption of guilt). Aside from being an informal fallacy depending on usage, such questions may be used as a rhetorical tool: the question attempts to limit direct replies to be those that serve the questioner’s agenda. The traditional example is the question “Have you stopped beating […]

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Presuppositions: Loaded Question

A loaded question or complex question fallacy is a question which contains a controversial or unjustified assumption (e.g., a presumption of guilt). Aside from being an informal fallacy depending on usage, such questions may be used as a rhetorical tool: the question attempts to limit direct replies to be those that serve the questioner’s agenda. The […]

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Assumption

Assumption is the act of assuming, or taking to or upon one’s self; the act of taking up or adopting. His assumption of secretarial duties was timely. The act of taking for granted, or supposing a thing without proof; a supposition; an unwarrantable claim. Their assumption of his guilt disqualified them from jury duty.

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Presuppositions: Performative Contradiction

A performative contradiction arises when the propositional content of a statement contradicts the presuppositions of asserting it. An example of a performative contradiction is the statement “I am dead” because the very act of proposing it presupposes the actor is alive. Performative contradictions The statement “Don’t do as I do, do as I say” is arguably […]

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Exception that proves the rule

“The exception [that] proves the rule” means that the presence of an exception applying to a specific case establishes (“proves”) that a general rule exists. For example, a sign that says “parking prohibited on Sundays” (the exception) “proves” that parking is allowed on the other six days of the week (the rule). A more explicit […]

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Presumption

In the law of evidence, a presumption of a particular fact can be made without the aid of proof in some situations. The types of presumption includes a rebuttable discretionary presumption, a rebuttable mandatory presumption, and an irrebuttable or conclusive presumption. Presumptions are sometimes categorized into two types: presumptions without basic facts, and presumptions with […]

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Presuppositions: Comparisons and Contrasts

Comparisons and contrasts may be marked by stress (or by other prosodic means), by particles like “too”, or by comparatives constructions. Mary called Albert a male chauvinist, and then HE insulted HER. Comparisons and Contrast: For Mary to call Albert a male chauvinist would be to insult him. Cindy is a better linguist than Becky. Comparisons and […]

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Presuppositions: Cleft Sentences

Cleft construction: It was Howard that kissed Sarah. Cleft Sentence: Someone kissed Sarah. Pseudo-cleft construction: What Tim lost was his wallet. Cleft Sentence: Tim lost something.

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Presuppositions: Temporal Clauses

Before Derek was even born, Thomas noticed presuppositions. Temporal Clause: Derek was born. While Kensington was revolutionizing linguistics, the rest of social science was asleep. Temporal Clause: Kensington was revolutionizing linguistics. Since Kennedy died, we’ve lacked a leader. Temporal Clause: Kennedy died. Further temporal clause constructors: after; during; whenever; as (as in As Tom was getting up, he slipped).

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Presuppositions: Iteratives

The men in black came again. Iterative: The men in black came before. You can’t get jelly beans anymore. Iterative: You once could get jelly beans. Wellington returned to power. Iterative: Wellington held power before. Further iteratives: another time; to come back; restore; repeat; for the nth time.

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Presupposition: Change of State Verbs

Todd stopped teasing his wife. Change of State Verb: Todd had been teasing his wife. Mindy began teasing her husband. Change of State Verb: Mindy hadn’t been teasing her husband. Some further change of state verbs: start; finish; carry on; cease; take (as in X took Y from Z » Y was at/in/with Z); leave; enter; come; go; arrive; etc.

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Presupposition: Implicative Verbs

Andrew managed to open the door. Implicative Verb: Andrew tried to open the door. Dennis forgot to lock the door. Implicative Verb: Dennis ought to have locked, or intended to lock, the door. Some further implicative predicates: X happened to V Implicative Verb: X didn’t plan or intend to V X avoided V’ing Implicative Verb: X was expected to, or usually did, or ought […]

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Presupposition: Definite Descriptions

Definite Descriptions are phrases of the form “the X” where X is a noun phrase. The description is said to be proper when the phrase applies to exactly one object, and conversely, it is said to be improper when either more than one potential referents exists, as in “the senator from Ohio”, or none at […]

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Presuppositions: Factive Verbs

On this definition, for someone to know X, it is required that X be true. A linguistic question thus arises regarding the usage of such phrases: does a person who states “John knows X” implicitly claim the truth of X? Steven Pinker explored this question in a 2007 book on language and cognition, using a widely […]

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Presuppositions: Punctuation

Punctuation is unexpected yet does not ‘follow the rules’, i.e. improper pauses, connected sentences, incomplete sentences – all of which ultimately force the listener to interpreter or ‘mind read’ what the speaker is saying in an attempt to understand. “Hand me your watch how quickly you go into a deep sleep.”

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Presuppositions: Scope

Scope is when the context does not reveal the scope to which a verb or modifier applies. “Speaking to you as a changed person …” (Who is the changed person?) or “The old men and women …”

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Presuppositions: Syntactic

Syntactic refers to a statement with more than one possible meaning. “shooting stars” or “leadership shows” — the syntax is uncertain within the context — is it referring to adjectives, verbs or nouns?

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Presuppositions: Extended Quote

An Extended Quote is a embedded context for the delivery of information that may be in the format of a command. “Many years ago, I met a retired army Sargent who taught me many useful things. He said to me “Change is easy and can be fun”.”

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Presuppositions: Lost Performative

Lost Performative is when someone says something that contains a rule or judgement without anyone taking responsibility for it.  It can include an implication of an idea instead of a direct statement such as “Breathing is good.”   A suggestion is presented to the subconscious stating that some opinion is true, but does not say how […]

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Presuppositions: The More, The More

Once some degree of rapport is established, this presupposition subtly leverages a resistant behavior as a consequence to the desired action. “The more you try to resist going into a trance, the more you find your eyes wanting to shut all by themselves.”

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Presuppositions: Tag Questions

These are Milton Model questions that encourage a client to confirm the truth of the words immediately preceding, aren’t they? If you read that question again, its almost impossible not to say ‘Yes’, isn’t it? It’s always good to get the client into a positive frame of mind, I’m sure you would agree? If the […]

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Presuppositions of NLP

The principles which form the foundation of NLP have been modeled from key people who consistently produced consistent and successful results. Have respect for the other person’s model of the world. We are all unique and experience the world in different ways. Everyone is individual and has their own special way of being. The map is […]

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Presuppositions: Negative Commands

Negative Commands use the inability of your unconscious to comprehend language constructions that use negatives (No, Not, Don’t, etc.). For instance, if someone were to say, “Don’t think about pink elephants,” what happens? Using negative commands can be thought of as sending subliminal messages to the brain. Since the unconscious cannot process the negative, only the […]

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Presuppositions: Embedded Suggestions

Embedded Suggestions (or Embedded Commands) are commands or directives buried within a larger sentence. They can be embedded within ordinary conversation. The embedded suggestions are usually marked with a change in tonality or tempo (analogical marking). Such as by speaking louder or looking directly at the client while using a particular tone of voice. They allow […]

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Presuppositions: Adverbs and Adjectives

Adverbs and Adjectives presuppose that something is going to happen. The question is how will the experience be? “What will you enjoy the most about driving the new Corvette?” “Are you excited about buying something for my birthday?” “How easily can you begin to relax in a recliner chair?” “Fortunately we have plenty of opportunity to […]

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Presuppositions: Awareness

Anytime you imply that you’re aware of something, you’re actually drawing attention to that awareness. So using words such as know, aware, realized and noticed, you’re already assuming that certain things are true. Let’s use the following statements as examples: “I know that the cafe is not open today.” “Are you aware that the cafe is not open […]

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Time & Timed Sequence

You can also use presupposition to utilize time or a sequence of events. For example, when I say: “You can begin to notice the lamp on the table.” Your attention is focused on whether you’re beginning to do this or not. It’s not focused on the subsequent events. What this means is that there are […]

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Presuppositions: Ors

“Would you prefer a wool sweater or a cotton one?” This presupposes that the listener wants one of them. The question is which. It’s better than asking “do you want one?” of which it can be easy to answer “no!”

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Presuppositions: Ordinals

Ordinals assume action will be taken — the question is — in what order, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. “Do you want to wash the dishes or would you like to take out the trash first?”

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Utilization

Utilization is a technique or approach where a person’s specific pattern of behavior is paced or matched in order to influence the person’s response. Utilization takes advantage of everything in the listeners experience (both internal and external environments) to support the intention of the speaker. Employee says: “I don’t understand.” Response: “That’s right…you don’t understand, yet, because […]

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Presuppositions: Comparative Deletions

Comparative Deletions  (Unspecified Comparison) occur when a statement does not clarify what something is being compared to, such as “the hybrid car gets forty percent better gas mileage” or “shopping at Walmart is a lot cheaper”.

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Presuppositions: Overview

Presuppositions can give a person the illusion of choice whilst all outcomes are acceptable. In some cases they can be used to presuppose or imply something without giving the illusion of choice. They are the linguistic equivalent of assumptions – an implicit assumption whose truth is taken for granted in communication. A presupposition must be […]

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