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  1.  7
    Composing Local Contexts.Chris Barker - 2022 - Journal of Semantics 39 (2):385-407.
    An expression’s presuppositions must be satisfied by its local context, that is, by the utterance context updated with the content of expressions that have already been evaluated. Traditional dynamic approaches track local context by remaking clause denotations into context update functions. This requires crafting for each semantic operator an update recipe that is not fully determined by its truth conditions, failing to capture how local contexts depend only on truth conditions and order of evaluation. In other theories, computing local contexts (...)
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  2.  2
    Are Most and More Than Half Truth-Conditionally Equivalent?Milica Denić & Jakub Szymanik - 2022 - Journal of Semantics 39 (2):261-294.
    Quantifying determiners most and more than half are standardly assumed to have the same truth-conditional meaning. Much work builds on this assumption in studying how the two quantifiers are mentally encoded and processed. There is however empirical evidence that most is sometimes interpreted as ‘significantly more than half’. Is this difference between most and more than half a pragmatic effect, or is the standard assumption that the two quantifiers are truth-conditionally equivalent wrong? We report two experiments which demonstrate that most (...)
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  3.  1
    Non-Intrusive Questions as a Special Type of Non-Canonical Questions.Donka F. Farkas - 2022 - Journal of Semantics 39 (2):295-337.
    This paper introduces on the scene a new type of non-canonical question, dubbed non-intrusive, exemplified by interrogatives marked by the particle oare in Romanian. It does so by providing an account of the distribution and interpretation of this particle using an updated version of the context components in Fălăuş & Laca, and an elaboration of the general assumptions in Faller. The intuition the account captures is that by marking an interrogative with oare, the speaker signals that she does not assume (...)
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  4.  4
    Alternatives in Counterfactuals: What Is Right and What Is Not.Jacopo Romoli, Paolo Santorio & Eva Wittenberg - 2022 - Journal of Semantics 39 (2):213-260.
    Classical semantics for counterfactuals is based on a notion of minimal change: If ${\textsf {A}}$, would ${\textsf {C}}$ says that the worlds that make ${\textsf {A}}$ true and that are otherwise minimally different from the actual world are ${\textsf {C}}$-worlds. This semantics suffers from a well-known difficulty with disjunctive antecedents. In a recent study, Ciardelli, Zhang, and Champollion present new, related difficulties for the classical approach having to do with unpredicted differences between counterfactuals with De Morgan-equivalent antecedents, and related pattern (...)
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  5.  3
    Intonational Commitments.Deniz Rudin - 2022 - Journal of Semantics 39 (2):339-383.
    This paper presents an analysis of inquisitive rising declaratives within the Table model. On this account, intonational tunes are modifiers of context update functions: rising intonation removes the speaker commitment component of a context update. This delivers a compositional account of the contributions of sentence type and intonational tune to the illocutionary mood of an utterance, showing how the semantic type of declarative sentences, the rising intonational tune, and a general-purpose utterance function conspire to derive the basic discourse effect of (...)
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  6. Articulated Homogeneity in Cumulative Sentences.Keny Chatain - 2022 - Journal of Semantics 39 (1):1-37.
    In this work, I use cumulative readings of every as a tool to investigate homogeneity in cumulative readings in general. Based on a new observation about the homogeneity properties of cumulative readings of every, I argue that the homogeneity properties of cumulative readings arise from the interaction of multiple operators, each operator contributing one exhaustive participation inference which disappears in negative contexts. I identify these operators with the thematic role heads in a Neo-Davidsonian semantics. The resulting theory is able to (...)
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  7.  2
    All Focus is Contrastive: On Polarity (Verum) Focus, Answer Focus, Contrastive Focus and Givenness.Daniel Goodhue - 2022 - Journal of Semantics 39 (1):117-158.
    I develop a general theory of focus and givenness that can account for truly contrastive focus, and for polarity focus, including data that are sometimes set apart under the label “verum focus”. I show that polarity focus creates challenges for classic theories of focus that can be dealt with by requiring that all focus marking is truly contrastive, and that givenness deaccenting imposes its own distinct requirement on prominence shifts. To enforce true contrast, I employ innocent exclusion, which I suggest (...)
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  8.  3
    Property Inheritance, Deferred Reference and Copredication.Matthew Gotham - 2022 - Journal of Semantics 39 (1):87-116.
    There are sentences that are coherent and possibly true, but in which there is at the very least the appearance of a conflict between the requirements of two predicates that are applied to the same argument. This phenomenon, known as copredication, raises various issues for linguistic theory. In this paper I defend and develop an approach to the issues of counting and individuation in copredication put forward in previous work, in dialogue with criticisms made by Liebesman & Magidor and their (...)
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  9. The Mereological Structure of Distributivity: A Case Study of Binominal Each.Jess H.-K. Law - 2022 - Journal of Semantics 39 (1):159-211.
    Binominal each is known to exhibit selectional requirements on the noun phrase that immediately precedes it. The goal of this paper is to reduce these selectional requirements to a single requirement of monotonic growth of measurement in relation to the ‘size’ of distributivity. More concretely, it is argued that binominal each imposes a constraint on the functional dependencies arising from distributive quantification, requiring that the measurement of its host grows monotonically with the number of values being distributively quantified. To make (...)
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  10. Comparison Via Eher.Carla Umbach & Stephanie Solt - 2022 - Journal of Semantics 39 (1):39-85.
    This paper is about the semantics of the German adverb eher, which has three, or perhaps four, readings: temporal, epistemic, metalinguistic and—depending on whether it is accepted as a genuine reading—preference. In its epistemic reading, eher gained prominence in semantics because it was used by Kratzer to argue that the notion of possibility is gradable. Eher has also received attention from a diachronic perspective, where it has been compared to the English adverb rather. Our analysis starts from the temporal reading (...)
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  11. Random Choice From Likelihood: The Case of Chuj.Luis Alonso-Ovalle & Justin Royer - 2022 - Journal of Semantics 38 (4):483-529.
    Research on modality has recently broadened beyond the verbal domain, unearthing questions about the cross-categorial nature of modality, for instance: To what extent do DP and VP modals mirror each other? Chuj, an understudied Mayan language, provides an ideal vantage point to answer this question with respect to random choice modality. Random choice indefinites convey, roughly, that an agent made an indiscriminate choice. In Chuj, random choice indefinite DPs involve a morpheme that can also appear as a verbal modifier, inviting (...)
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  12. Monotonicity Revisited: Mass Nouns and Comparisons of Purity.Alan Bale, Bernhard Schwarz & David Shanks - 2022 - Journal of Semantics 38 (4):681-708.
    Comparatives with more plus mass noun, like John has more milk than Bill, are naturally analyzed as referencing measure functions, functions like volume or weight that map individuals to degrees. Although such measure functions vary with context as well as the choice of mass noun, there are well known grammatical limitations on this variation. In particular, Schwarzschild proposes that only monotonic measure functions can enter into the interpretation of comparatives with more plus mass noun. While this Monotonicity Constraint has strong (...)
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  13.  1
    Children’s Interpretation of Sentences Containing Multiple Scalar Terms.Cory Bill, Elena Pagliarini, Jacopo Romoli, Lyn Tieu & Stephen Crain - 2022 - Journal of Semantics 38 (4):601-637.
    Sentences containing the scalar term “some”, such as “The pig carried some of his rocks”, are usually interpreted as conveying the scalar inference that the pig did not carry all of his rocks. Previous research has reported that when interpreting such sentences, children tend to derive fewer of these scalar inferences than adults ; Papafragou & Musolino ; Guasti et al., among others). One approach to explaining these results contends that children have difficulties accessing the alternative sentences involved in the (...)
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  14.  2
    Distinguishing Homogeneity From Vagueness.Diego Feinmann - 2022 - Journal of Semantics 38 (4):667-679.
    The question of whether the gappiness associated with vague sentences is of the same kind as the gappiness associated with homogenous sentences has been raised but not settled. In this article, I set out to fill this gap. To begin with, I examine the arguments that have been given for and against assimilating homogeneity to the phenomenon of vagueness. Next, I present three linguistic tests in which homogeneous and vague sentences come apart very clearly, namely, the disagreement test, the epistemic (...)
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  15.  7
    Notes on Iterated Rationality Models of Scalar Implicatures.Danny Fox & Roni Katzir - 2022 - Journal of Semantics 38 (4):571-600.
    In the linguistics literature, the derivation of scalar implicatures has often been handled in a relatively modular way, using computations that are sensitive to logical relations among alternatives such as entailment but are blind to other notions such as the probabilities that participants in a conversation might associate with these alternatives. In recent years, a family of models that we refer to as iterated rationality models have offered an interestingly different perspective on such alternative-sensitive processes in terms of multiple iterations (...)
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  16.  4
    Iffy Endorsements.Magdalena Kaufmann & Stefan Kaufmann - 2022 - Journal of Semantics 38 (4):639-665.
    Theories of imperatives differ in how they aim to derive the distributional and functional properties of this clause type. One point of divergence is how to capture the fact that imperative utterances convey the speaker’s endorsement for the course of events described. Condoravdi & Lauer observe that conditionals with imperative consequents are infelicitous as motivations of advice against doing something and take this as evidence for an analysis of imperatives as encoding speaker endorsement. We investigate CIs in further contexts and (...)
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  17.  1
    Evidentiality in Abductive Reasoning: Experimental Support for a Modal Analysis of Evidentials.Anastasia Smirnova - 2022 - Journal of Semantics 38 (4):531-570.
    This paper presents results from two experimental studies that address a theoretical debate in semantics about the meaning of evidentiality and its relation to epistemic modality. According to modal analyses, evidentiality, in addition to the information source, encodes that the proposition in the scope of the evidential is possibly/necessarily true. Non-modal analyses postulate that evidential sentences entail the proposition in their scope and have the same semantic strength as non-evidential sentences. The predictions of the two approaches are tested for Bulgarian. (...)
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