A note on Kehler & Ward (2006)

expression that indicates hearer-familiarity conversationally implicates that the referent is in fact nonfamiliar to the hearer” (KW 177, emphasis in original, footnote added). The purpose of this note is two-fold: first, to look more closely at the proposed implicature; and second, to clarify its relation to a different implicature – a scalar implicature of nonuniqueness resulting from use of the indefinite rather than the definite article, which was proposed by Hawkins (1991). In the first section below we distinguish explicit from implicit indications of familiarity. In §2 we look specifically at definite NPs from this perspective. In §3 we consider KW’s evidence for the familiarity implicature, and in §4 we argue that the existence of such an implicature does not cast doubt on the existence of Hawkins’ nonuniqueness implicature. The final section contains some concluding remarks. We should make clear that we may ultimately have little or no disagreement with KW on the issues here. (We have had some indication from one of the authors that that is the case.) Rather, our main purpose is clarificatory. Most importantly, we fear that a reader of KW may come away with the conclusion that their nonfamiliarity implicature in some way supplants or supersedes the Hawkins implicature, and we would like to ward off any such conclusion
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