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  1.  2
    The meaning of the tough-construction.John Gluckman - 2021 - Natural Language Semantics 29 (3):453-499.
    A formal semantic analysis of the tough-construction is provided building on the well-known observation that events play a central role. A close look at the semantic characteristics of the class of tough-predicates and the syntactic and semantic properties of nonfinite clauses reveals the link between these pieces, expanding on recent advances in the semantics of clauses. Building on Salzmann German and beyond, de Gruyter, Berlin 2017b), a formal semantic and syntactic analysis of prolepsis is provided to explain the antecedent gap (...)
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  2.  3
    Mandarin wh-conditionals: A dynamic question approach.Haoze Li - 2021 - Natural Language Semantics 29 (3):401-451.
    Mandarin has a special construction widely known as a ‘wh-conditional’, in which both the antecedent clause and the consequent clause are wh-clauses. Wh-conditionals are of interest to linguists because the wh-expressions in a wh-conditional must co-refer. How to make sense of the fusion of a conditional and two wh-clauses, as well as the nature of the co-reference relation, have been long-standing issues. Two competing approaches have been advanced to shed light on wh-conditionals: the indefinite approach :121–163, 1996; Chierchia in J. (...)
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  3.  42
    On logicality and natural logic.Salvatore Pistoia-Reda & Luca San Mauro - 2021 - Natural Language Semantics 29 (3):501-506.
    In this paper we focus on the logicality of language, i.e. the idea that the language system contains a deductive device to exclude analytic constructions. Puzzling evidence for the logicality of language comes from acceptable contradictions and tautologies. The standard response in the literature involves assuming that the language system only accesses analyticities that are due to skeletons as opposed to standard logical forms. In this paper we submit evidence in support of alternative accounts of logicality, which reject the stipulation (...)
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  4.  10
    Slurs and Antipresuppositions.Nicolás Lo Guercio - 2021 - Natural Language Semantics 29 (2):377-400.
    It has been observed that when there is competition between alternative sentences with different presuppositional strength, use of the weaker alternative triggers an inference, sometimes called an antipresupposition, to the effect that the presupposition of the stronger alternative is not satisfied. Furthermore, it has been argued that in order to account for antipresuppositions, it is necessary to postulate an independent pragmatic principle called Maximize Presupposition!, which states that the sentence with the stronger presupposition should be preferred whenever its presupposition is (...)
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  5.  11
    Presuppositions, Implicatures, and Contextual Equivalence.Paul Marty & Jacopo Romoli - 2021 - Natural Language Semantics 29 (2):229-280.
    Maximize Presupposition!, as originally proposed in Heim and developed in subsequent works, offers an account of the otherwise mysterious unassertability of a variety of sentences. At the core of MP is the idea that speakers are urged to use a sentence ψ over a sentence ϕ if ψ contributes the same new information as ϕ, yet carries a stronger presupposition. While MP has been refined in many ways throughout the years, most of its formulations have retained this characterisation of the (...)
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  6.  9
    Japanese Free Choice Items as Unconditionals.Hiromune Oda - 2021 - Natural Language Semantics 29 (2):281-338.
    This article examines syntactic and semantic properties of free choice items in Japanese. It is argued that Japanese FCIs, which have been considered to have a wh-item and a scalar focus particle demo, actually involve a clausal structure, which contains a null subject, a copula, and a subjunctive modal/mood. This proposal explains a number of puzzling issues regarding their distribution as FCIs compared with those in other languages. A compositional semantic analysis of Japanese FCIs is then proposed based on this (...)
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  7.  11
    The nature of the semantic stimulus: the acquisition of every as a case study.Ezer Rasin & Athulya Aravind - 2021 - Natural Language Semantics 29 (2):339-375.
    We evaluate the richness of the child’s input in semantics and its relation to the hypothesis space available to the child. Our case study is the acquisition of the universal quantifier every. We report two main findings regarding the acquisition of every on the basis of a corpus study of child-directed and child-ambient speech. Our first finding is that the input in semantics is rich enough to systematically eliminate instances of the subset problem of language acquisition: overly general hypotheses about (...)
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  8.  11
    Conditional Analysis of Clausal Exceptives.Ekaterina Vostrikova - 2021 - Natural Language Semantics 29 (2):159-227.
    In this paper I argue that English exceptive constructions introduced by except can be derived from full clauses by ellipsis. I offer a compositional analysis for this clausal exceptive construction. I propose that except introduces quantification over possible situations and the clause following it provides the restriction for this quantification. I show how the analysis developed here derives the inferences except contributes to sentences it occurs in and the restrictions on its use. I also show how this approach captures certain (...)
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  9.  7
    On the presuppositional strength of interrogative clauses.Maayan Abenina-Adar & Yael Sharvit - 2021 - Natural Language Semantics 29 (1):47-90.
    A central question in the study of presuppositions is how a presupposition trigger contributes to the meaning of a complex expression containing it. Two competing answers are found in the literature on quantificational expressions. According to the first, a quantificational expression presupposes that every member of its domain satisfies the presuppositions triggered in its scope, and according to the second, a quantificational expression presupposes that at least one member of its domain satisfies the presuppositions triggered in its scope. The former (...)
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  10. Oddness, Modularity, and Exhaustification.Guillermo Del Pinal - 2021 - Natural Language Semantics 29 (1):115-158.
    According to the `grammatical account', scalar implicatures are triggered by a covert exhaustification operator present in logical form. This account covers considerable empirical ground, but there is a peculiar pattern that resists treatment given its usual implementation. The pattern centers on odd assertions like #"Most lions are mammals" and #"Some Italians come from a beautiful country", which seem to trigger implicatures in contexts where the enriched readings conflict with information in the common ground. Magri (2009, 2011) argues that, to account (...)
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  11.  14
    Still Going Strong.Kai von Fintel & Anthony S. Gillies - 2021 - Natural Language Semantics 29 (1):91-113.
    In “Must...stay...strong!”, we set out to slay a dragon, or rather what we called The Mantra: that epistemic must has a modal force weaker than expected from standard modal logic, that it doesn’t entail its prejacent, and that the best explanation for the evidential feel of must is a pragmatic explanation. We argued that all three sub-mantras are wrong and offered an explanation according to which must is strong, entailing, and the felt indirectness is the product of an evidential presupposition (...)
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  12.  8
    Higher-order readings of wh -questions.Yimei Xiang - 2021 - Natural Language Semantics 29 (1):1-45.
    In most cases, a wh-question calls for an answer that names an entity in the set denoted by the extension of the wh-complement. However, evidence from questions with necessity modals and questions with collective predicates argues that sometimes a wh-question must be interpreted with a higher-order reading, in which this question calls for an answer that names a generalized quantifier. This paper investigates the distribution and compositional derivation of higher-order readings of wh-questions. First, I argue that the generalized quantifiers that (...)
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