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  1.  2
    Disjunction Triggers Exhaustivity Implicatures in 4- to 5-Year-Olds: Investigating the Role of Access to Alternatives.Nicole Gotzner, David Barner & Stephen Crain - 2020 - Journal of Semantics 37 (2):219-245.
    Children’s difficulty deriving scalar implicatures has been attributed to a variety of factors including processing limitations, an inability to access scalar alternatives, and pragmatic tolerance. The present research explores the nature of children’s difficulty by investigating a previously unexplored kind of inference—an exhaustivity implicature that is triggered by disjunction. We reasoned that if children are able to draw quantity implicatures but have difficulties accessing alternative lexical expressions from a scale, then they should perform better on exhaustivity implicatures than on scalar (...)
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  2.  10
    Kripkeans of the World, Unite!Farjana Islam & Giosuè Baggio - 2020 - Journal of Semantics 37 (2):297-309.
    This paper revisits a study by Machery et al., suggesting that, in experimental versions of Kripke’s fictional cases on the use of proper names, Westerners are more likely than East Asian participants to show intuitions compatible with Kripke’s causal-historical theory of reference. We conducted two experiments, recruting participants from Norway and Bangladesh, either in English or in the participants’ native languages, using modified cases and a new approach to data analysis. We replicated the results of Machery et al., but we (...)
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  3.  2
    Do Children Interpret ‘or’ Conjunctively?Dimitrios Skordos, Roman Feiman, Alan Bale & David Barner - 2020 - Journal of Semantics 37 (2):247-267.
    Preschoolers often struggle to compute scalar implicatures involving disjunction, in which they are required to strengthen an utterance by negating stronger alternatives, e.g. to infer that, ‘The girl has an apple or an orange’ likely means she does not have both. However, recent reports surprisingly find that a substantial subset of children interpret disjunction as conjunction, concluding instead that the girl must have both fruits. According to these studies, children arrive at conjunctive readings not because they have a non-adult-like semantics, (...)
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  4.  5
    A Causal Semantics of IS Generics.Robert van Rooij & Katrin Schulz - 2020 - Journal of Semantics 37 (2):269-295.
    The felicity, or acceptability, of IS generics, i.e. generic sentences with indefinite singulars, is considerably more restricted compared to BP generics, generics with bare plurals. The goal of this paper is to account for the limited felicity of IS generics compared to BP generics, on the one hand, while preserving the close similarity between the two types of generics, on the other. We do so by proposing a causal analysis of IS generics, and show that this corresponds closely with a (...)
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  5.  5
    Function Alternations of the Mandarin Particle Dou: Distributor, Free Choice Licensor, and ‘Even’.Yimei Xiang - 2020 - Journal of Semantics 37 (2):171-217.
    Many languages have particles that possess multiple logical functions. Take the Mandarin particle dou for example. Varying by the item it is associated with and the prosodic pattern of the environment it appears in, dou can trigger a distributivity effect, license a pre-verbal free choice item, or evoke an even-like inference. Considering universal grammar a simple system, we need to figure out, for a multi-functional particle, which of its functions is primary, what parametric variations are responsible for the alternations in (...)
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