Entailment and Presupposition

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Babylon University

Entailment and Presupposition

Areej As'ad Ja'far
College of Education
Department of English


1. Introduction
When one reads or hears pieces of language, one normally tries to
understand not only what the words mean, but what the writer or the
speaker of those words intend to convey. One of the principal difficulties
that one faces when dealing with aspects of language is how to
distinguish between entailment and presupposition. These two concepts
are described and examined for the reason that they seem to provide the
basis for answering a number of questions both about speakercommitment and sentence meaning. As a matter of fact, presupposition is
what the speaker assumes to be the case prior to making an utterance
whereas entailment is what logically follows from what is asserted in the
The study deals with the notion of entailment, its types, i.e.,
background and foreground, as well as the relation between entailment
and hyponymy. On the other hand, the research tackles the concept of
presupposition showing its nature, properties, the difference between this
notion and some concepts like synonymy and supposition, in addition to
demonstrating the six kinds of presupposition. More specifically, this
study attempts to reveal the relation between entailment and
This study aims at:
1. Assessing Iraqi EFL university students’ achievement in
recognizing entailment and presupposition.
2. Identifying the points of difficulty which Iraqi EFL university
student encounter in using entailment and presupposition.
3. Finding out the reasons beyond students’ errors and the suitable
solutions posited to deal with such errors.
In view of the preceding aims, it can be hypothesized that:

1. Most Iraqi EFL university students are unable to differentiate between
entailment and presupposition.
2. The performance of both of the groups of students that have undertaken
the first test is close.
3. The achievement of the experimental group that had been given lessons
in this topic is anticipated to be better than that of the control group in the
second try.
The researcher adopts the following steps in order to achieve the
objectives of this study.
1. Producing, as far as possible, a comprehensive exposition of entailment
and presupposition depending on the literature available in this field.
2. A test has been submitted to Iraqi EFL university students in order to
pinpoint the problems and difficulties that they may face in usi...
Babylon University
Entailment and Presupposition
Areej As'ad Ja'far
College of Education
Department of English
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