David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Linguistics and Philosophy 34 (6):537-570 (2011)
Linguists often sharply distinguish the different modules that support linguistics competence, e.g., syntax, semantics, pragmatics. However, recent work has identified phenomena in syntax (polarity sensitivity) and pragmatics (implicatures), which seem to rely on semantic properties (monotonicity). We propose to investigate these phenomena and their connections as a window into the modularity of our linguistic knowledge. We conducted a series of experiments to gather the relevant syntactic, semantic and pragmatic judgments within a single paradigm. The comparison between these quantitative data leads us to four main results, (i) Our results support a departure from one element of the classical Gricean approach, thus helping to clarify and settle an empirical debate. This first outcome also confirms the soundness of the methodology, as the results align with standard contemporary accounts of scalar implicature (SI), (ii) We confirm that the formal semantic notion of monotonicity underlies negative polarity item (NPI) syntactic acceptability, but (iii) our results indicate that the notion needed is perceived monotonicity. We see results (ii) and (iii) as the main contribution of this study: (ii) provides an empirical interpretation and confirmation of one of the insights of the model-theoretic approach to semantics, while (iii) calls for an incremental, cognitive implementation of the current generalizations, (iv) Finally, our results do not indicate that the relationship between NPI acceptability and monotonicity is mediated by pragmatic features related to Sis: this tells against elegant attempts to unify polarity sensitivity and Sis (pioneered by Krifka and Chierchia). These results illustrate a new methodology for integrating theoretically rigorous work in formal semantics with an experimentally-grounded cognitively-oriented view of linguistic competence
|Keywords||Modularity Polarity Scalar implicatures Monotonicity Intuitions Experiment|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
E. Chemla & B. Spector (2011). Experimental Evidence for Embedded Scalar Implicatures. Journal of Semantics 28 (3):359-400.
Emmanuel Chemla (2009). Presuppositions of Quantified Sentences: Experimental Data. [REVIEW] Natural Language Semantics 17 (4):299-340.
Gennaro Chierchia & Danny Fox, The Grammatical View of Scalar Implicatures and the Relationship Between Semantics and Pragmatics.
G. Fauconnier (1975). Do Quantifiers Branch? Linguistic Inquiry 6:555--567.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Manfred Krifka (1991). Some Remarks on Polarity Items. In Dietmar Zaefferer (ed.), Semantic Universals and Universal Semantics. Foris Publications. 150--189.
J. Shimoyama (2011). Japanese Indeterminate Negative Polarity Items and Their Scope. Journal of Semantics 28 (4):413-450.
R. van Rooy (2003). Negative Polarity Items in Questions: Strength as Relevance. Journal of Semantics 20 (3):239-273.
A. Zepter (2003). How to Be Universal When You Are Existential: Negative Polarity Items in the Comparative: Entailment Along a Scale. Journal of Semantics 20 (2):193-237.
Jack Hoeksema (2008). There is No Number Effect in the Licensing of Negative Polarity Items: A Reply to Guerzoni and Sharvit. [REVIEW] Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (4):397-407.
Anastasia Giannakidou, Licensing and Sensitivity in Polarity Items: From Downward Entailment to (Non)Veridicality.
J. Atlas (1996). 'Only' Noun Phrases, Pseudo-Negative Generalized Quantifiers, Negative Polarity Items, and Monotonicity. Journal of Semantics 13 (4):265-328.
Anastasia Giannakidou, The Dependency of the Subjunctive Revisited: Temporal Semantics and Polarity.
Kjell Johan Saeboe (2001). The Semantics of Scandinavian Free Choice Items. Linguistics and Philosophy 24 (6):737-788.
Ton van der Wouden (1997). Negative Contexts: Collocation, Polarity and Multiple Negation. Routledge.
Anastasia Giannakidou & Marcel den Dikken, From Hell to Polarity: Aggressively Non-D-Linked Wh-Phrases as Polarity Items.
Added to index2012-04-20
Total downloads29 ( #59,728 of 1,100,994 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #58,870 of 1,100,994 )
How can I increase my downloads?