Readings of scalar particles: noch / still

Linguistics and Philosophy 43 (1):1-67 (2020)


The paper develops a uniform compositional analysis of the various readings of the scalar particle still and its German counterpart noch. Noch/still is a presuppositional scalar particle that gives rise to implicatures. Interpretive possibilities arise through different choices for the scale that the particle associates with, different attachment sites in the syntax, and interaction with focus. These interpretive parameters allow for a wide range of possible sentence interpretations, which overlap, but do not coincide for still and noch. The contrastive perspective allows us to examine the role of scales in the grammar. The implicatures triggered by the scalar item open an interesting perspective for the generation of implicatures in general.

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