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  1. The Landscape of EVEN.Anastasia Giannakidou - manuscript
    This paper explores the role that the scalar properties and presuppositions of even play in creating polarity sensitive even meanings crosslinguistically (henceforth EVEN). I discuss the behavior of three lexically distinct Greek counterparts of even in positive, negative, subjunctive sentences, and polar questions. These items are shown to be polarity sensitive, and a three-way distinction is posited between a positive polarity (akomi ke), a negative polarity (oute), and a ‘flexible scale’even(esto) which does not introduce likelihood, but is associated with scales (...)
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  • Licensing and Sensitivity in Polarity Items: From Downward Entailment to (Non)Veridicality.Anastasia Giannakidou - manuscript
    Polarity phenomena in language are pervasive and quite diverse. A quite familiar polarity item (PI) is any. Any a PI because it exhibits limited distribution: it is ungrammatical in positive sentences, but becomes fine with negation, in questions, with modal verbs, and in the scope of downward entailing quantifiers like few.
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  • Only, Emotive Factive Verbs, and the Dual Nature of Polarity Dependency.Anastasia Giannakidou - manuscript
    The main focus of this article is the occurrence of some polarity items (PIs) in the complements of emotive factive verbs and only. This fact has been taken as a challenge to the semantic approach to PIs (Linebarger 1980), because only and factive verbs are not downward entailing (DE). A modification of the classical DE account is proposed by introducing the notion of nonveridicality (Zwarts 1995, Giannakidou 1998, 1999, 2001) as the one crucial for PI sanctioning. To motivate this move, (...)
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  • The Epistemics of Presupposition Projection.Jan van Eijck & Christina Unger - 2007 - In Dekker Aloni (ed.), Proceedings of the Sixteenth Amsterdam Colloquium. pp. 235-240.
    We carry out the Karttunen-Stalnaker pragmatic account of presupposition projection within a state-of-the art version of dynamic epistemic logic. It turns out that the basic projection facts can all be derived from a Gricean maxim ‘be informative’. This sheds light on a recent controversy on the appropriateness of dynamic semantics as a tool for analysing presupposition.
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  • Quantifier Particles and Compositionality.Anna Szabolcsi - 2013 - Proceedings of the 19th Amsterdam Colloquium.
    In many languages, the same particles build quantifier words and serve as connectives, additive and scalar particles, question markers, existential verbs, and so on. Do the roles of each particle form a natural class with a stable semantics? Are the particles aided by additional elements, overt or covert, in fulfilling their varied roles? I propose a unified analysis, according to which the particles impose partial ordering requirements (glb and lub) on the interpretations of their hosts and the immediate larger contexts, (...)
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  • Free Choice, Modals, and Imperatives.Maria Aloni - 2007 - Natural Language Semantics 15 (1):65-94.
    The article proposes an analysis of imperatives and possibility and necessity statements that (i) explains their differences with respect to the licensing of free choice any and (ii) accounts for the related phenomena of free choice disjunction in imperatives, permissions, and statements. Any and or are analyzed as operators introducing sets of alternative propositions. Free choice licensing operators are treated as quantifiers over these sets. In this way their interpretation can be sensitive to the alternatives any and or introduce in (...)
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  • Far From Obvious: The Semantics of Locative Indefinites.Sela Mador-Haim & Yoad Winter - 2015 - Linguistics and Philosophy 38 (5):437-476.
    Simple locative sentences show a variety of pseudo-quantificational interpretations. Some locatives give the impression of universal quantification over parts of objects, others involve existential quantification, and yet others cannot be characterized by either of these quantificational terms. This behavior is explained by virtually all semantic theories of locatives. What has not been previously observed is that similar quantificational variability is also exhibited by locative sentences containing indefinites with the ‘a’ article. This phenomenon is especially problematic for traditional existential treatments of (...)
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  • Presupposition Accommodation and Informativity Considerations with Aspectual Still.Y. Greenberg - 2009 - Journal of Semantics 26 (1):49-86.
    This paper deals with a newly observed phenomenon which lies at the interface of the semantics and pragmatics of aspectual still, namely the fact that still is infelicitous when it appears in past tense sentences whose reference time is not specified by some temporal adverbial or the utterance context. The main claim of the paper is that in such sentences, the truth of the assertion and that of the ‘prior time’ presupposition this particle triggers can be both inferred from the (...)
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  • The Effect of Negative Polarity Items on Inference Verification.Anna Szabolcsi, Lewis Bott & Brian McElree - 2008 - Journal of Semantics 25 (4):411-450.
    The scalar approach to negative polarity item (NPI) licensing assumes that NPIs are allowable in contexts in which the introduction of the NPI leads to proposition strengthening (e.g., Kadmon & Landman 1993, Krifka 1995, Lahiri 1997, Chierchia 2006). A straightforward processing prediction from such a theory is that NPI’s facilitate inference verification from sets to subsets. Three experiments are reported that test this proposal. In each experiment, participants evaluated whether inferences from sets to subsets were valid. Crucially, we manipulated whether (...)
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  • Underspecification in Degree Operators.Guillaume Thomas - 2018 - Journal of Semantics 35 (1):43-93.
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  • NPI Any and Connected Exceptive Phrases.Jon Gajewski - 2008 - Natural Language Semantics 16 (1):69-110.
    This paper addresses two puzzles in the semantics of connected exceptive phrases (EP): (i) the compatibility of EPs modifying noun phrases headed by the negative polarity item (NPI) determiner any and (ii) the ability of a negative universal quantifier modified by an EP to license strong NPIs. Previous analyses of EPs are shown to fail to solve these puzzles. A new unified solution to the two puzzles is proposed. The crucial insight of the analysis is to allow von Fintel’s (Natural (...)
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  • Negative Polarity as Scope Marking.Chris Barker - 2018 - Linguistics and Philosophy 41 (5):483-510.
    What is the communicative value of negative polarity? That is, why do so many languages maintain a stock of special indefinites that occur only in a proper subset of the contexts in which ordinary indefinites can appear? Previous answers include: marking the validity of downward inferences; marking the invalidity of veridical inferences; or triggering strengthening implications. My starting point for exploring a new answer is the fact that an NPI must always take narrow scope with respect to its licensing context. (...)
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  • The Semantic Roots of Positive Polarity: Epistemic Modal Verbs and Adverbs in English, Greek and Italian.Anastasia Giannakidou & Alda Mari - 2018 - Linguistics and Philosophy 41 (6):623-664.
    Epistemic modal verbs and adverbs of necessity are claimed to be positive polarity items. We study their behavior by examining modal spread, a phenomenon that appears redundant or even anomalous, since it involves two apparent modal operators being interpreted as a single modality. We propose an analysis in which the modal adverb is an argument of the MUST modal, providing a meta-evaluation \ which ranks the Ideal, stereotypical worlds in the modal base as better possibilities than the Non-Ideal worlds in (...)
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  • The Logic Instinct.Stephen Crain & Drew Khlentzos - 2010 - Mind and Language 25 (1):30-65.
    We present a series of arguments for logical nativism, focusing mainly on the meaning of disjunction in human languages. We propose that all human languages are logical in the sense that the meaning of linguistic expressions corresponding to disjunction (e.g. English or , Chinese huozhe, Japanese ka ) conform to the meaning of the logical operator in classical logic, inclusive- or . It is highly implausible, we argue, that children acquire the (logical) meaning of disjunction by observing how adults use (...)
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  • Types as Graphs: Continuations in Type Logical Grammar. [REVIEW]Chris Barker & Chung-Chieh Shan - 2006 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 15 (4):331-370.
    Using the programming-language concept of continuations, we propose a new, multimodal analysis of quantification in Type Logical Grammar. Our approach provides a geometric view of in-situ quantification in terms of graphs, and motivates the limited use of empty antecedents in derivations. Just as continuations are the tool of choice for reasoning about evaluation order and side effects in programming languages, our system provides a principled, type-logical way to model evaluation order and side effects in natural language. We illustrate with an (...)
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  • The Semantics of Plural Indefinite Noun Phrases in Spanish and Portuguese.Luisa Martí - 2008 - Natural Language Semantics 16 (1):1-37.
    In this paper I provide a decompositional analysis of three kinds of plural indefinites in two related languages, European Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese. The three indefinites studied are bare plurals, the unos (Spanish)/uns (Portuguese) type, and the algunos (Spanish)/alguns (Portuguese) type. The paper concentrates on four properties: semantic plurality, positive polarity, partitivity, and event distribution. The logic underlying the analysis is that of compositionality, applied at the subword level: as items become bigger in form (with the addition of morphemes), they (...)
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