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  1.  5
    Polymorphic distributivity.Dylan Bumford - 2022 - Natural Language Semantics 30 (3):239-268.
    This article describes a novel pattern of interpretations associated with universal determiners like ‘each’ and ‘every’. It is demonstrated that these canonically distributive quantifiers can give rise to surprising collective readings when they quantify into sub-clausal constituents, especially other Determiner Phrases. For instance, ‘two cards from each player’ can be understood to pick out a single assorted deck of cards, one whose contents co-vary with the players. Yet this deck as a whole may be said to participate in a range (...)
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  2.  3
    Finding the force: How children discern possibility and necessity modals.Anouk Dieuleveut, Annemarie van Dooren, Ailís Cournane & Valentine Hacquard - 2022 - Natural Language Semantics 30 (3):269-310.
    This paper investigates when and how children figure out the force of modals: that possibility modals express possibility, and necessity modals express necessity. Modals raise a classic subset problem: given that necessity entails possibility, what prevents learners from hypothesizing possibility meanings for necessity modals? Three solutions to such subset problems can be found in the literature: the first is for learners to rely on downward-entailing environments :185–215, 2009); the second is a bias for strong meanings; the third is for learners (...)
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  3.  12
    Challenges for independence-driven and context-repair responses to the proviso problem.Alex Silk - 2022 - Natural Language Semantics 30 (3):363-377.
    This note presents challenge cases for prominent pragmatic responses to the proviso problem. I offer examples of uses of conditionals if \ that seem to commit the speaker unconditionally to the presupposition P of the consequent clause ϕ, even though the sentence’s predicted semantic presupposition ψ⊃P is antecedently satisfied, and independence between ψ and P isn’t antecedently assumed. The examples provided avoid problems with other examples from the literature used against pragmatic accounts. I leave the matter as an unresolved challenge (...)
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  4.  2
    Relativized Exhaustivity: mention-some and uniqueness.Yimei Xiang - 2022 - Natural Language Semantics 30 (3):311-362.
    Wh-questions with the modal verb can admit both mention-some and mention-all answers. This paper argues that we should treat MS as a grammatical phenomenon, primarily determined by the grammar of the wh-interrogative. I assume that MS and MA answers can be modeled using the same definition of answerhood and attribute the MS/MA ambiguity to structural variations within the question nucleus. The variations are: the scope ambiguity of the higher-order wh-trace and the absence/presence of an anti-exhaustification operator. However, treating MS answers (...)
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  5.  1
    Additive free choice items.Anamaria Fălăuş & Andreea C. Nicolae - 2022 - Natural Language Semantics 30 (2):185-214.
    In this paper, we aim to account for the distribution and interpretation of a novel class of free choice items in Romanian, which we refer to as additive free choice items. We show that the internal composition of ADD-FCIs, as well as their distribution, differs from that attested for other free choice paradigms discussed in the literature. Morphologically, ADD-FCIs are a more complex variant of regular universal FCIs, by virtue of an additional morpheme. This morpheme plays an additive role when (...)
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  6.  4
    Enough clauses, (non)finiteness, and modality.Thomas Grano - 2022 - Natural Language Semantics 30 (2):115-153.
    Infinitives are known to encode covert modality in certain environments including infinitival relatives and questions. Beyond these environments, however, the precise distribution and interpretation of infinitival modality remains poorly understood. In that light, this paper investigates infinitive-embedding enough/too sentences like Pat is tall enough to be the thief or Lee is too old to drive. These sentences have a modal semantics whose compositional source is contested: on one approach, the infinitive encodes the modality, and on another approach, the enough/too morpheme (...)
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  7.  1
    Time and evidence in the graded tense system of Mvskoke.Kimberly Johnson - 2022 - Natural Language Semantics 30 (2):155-183.
    In recent years, much attention has been given to the puzzling relationship between tense and evidence type found in languages where a single morpheme appears to encode both reference to time and to the evidential source for the assertion. In natural language, tense has long been understood as serving to locate the time at which the proposition expressed by the sentence holds. The two main theories of evidentials both agree that these morphemes serve to identify the type of evidence the (...)
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  8.  3
    Zero N: Number features and ⊥.Luisa Martí - 2022 - Natural Language Semantics 30 (2):215-237.
    In this paper I demonstrate that there is an explanation of the number marking we see on nouns when they combine with the numeral zero which combines Martí’s account of the morphosyntax and semantics of the numeral-noun construction with Bylinina and Nouwen’s :98, 2018) semantics for zero and which does not need to appeal to any further principles.
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  9.  3
    Number in NPI licensing.Luka Crnič - 2022 - Natural Language Semantics 30 (1):1-46.
    The acceptability of any-DPs in existential modal sentences presents a challenge for theories of NPI licensing: existential modal sentences appear to differ substantially from other environments in which any-DPs are acceptable. One approach to this challenge has been to, first, take any-DPs to be subject to an environment-based downward-entailingness condition—they have to occur in an environment that is Strawson downward-entailing with respect to their domain —and, second, to derive such an environment in existential modal sentences by means of exhaustification. This (...)
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  10.  4
    Scope splitting in Syrian Arabic.Peter Hallman - 2022 - Natural Language Semantics 30 (1):47-76.
    Sentences like Mary needs to make the fewest mistakes on the upcoming test have a ‘split scope’ reading roughly paraphrasable as ‘Mary exceeds all others in terms of how many mistakes she must not make’; that is, her situation is the most precarious. The structural approach to this phenomenon attributes to such sentences a logical form resembling this paraphrase, in which the superlative component of the meaning of fewest scopes above the modal need to and the negative component scopes below (...)
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  11.  3
    Contrast and verb phrase ellipsis: The case of tautologous conditionals.Richard Stockwell - 2022 - Natural Language Semantics 30 (1):77-100.
    This paper argues that verb phrase ellipsis requires contrast. The central observation is that ellipsis is ungrammatical in tautologous conditionals; e.g., *If John wins, then he does. Ellipsis is correctly ruled out by a focus-based theory of ellipsis, but one that crucially imports focus’s requirement for contrast: an elliptical constituent must have an antecedent that is not merely an alternative to it, but a ‘proper’ alternative. An explanation in terms of contrast failure proves superior to alternative explanations in terms of (...)
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  12.  5
    Factive islands and questions about propositions.Matías Verdecchia - 2022 - Natural Language Semantics 30 (1):101-113.
    In this squib, I evaluate the contradiction analysis :257–321, 2011, in Weak island semantics, 2014) and the necessary infelicity analysis, New frontiers in artificial intelligence, 2007; Schwarz and Simonenko in Natural Language Semantics 26:253–279, 2018b) of factive islands in light of a pattern that has not been previously discussed in the literature: questions about propositions. I argue that while the necessary infelicity approach can straightforwardly explain the acceptability of this kind of question, the contradiction account undergenerates, since it wrongly predicts (...)
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