Even: The conventional implicature approach reconsidered

Linguistics and Philosophy 18 (2):153 - 173 (1995)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Like Bennett's account of ‘even’, my analysis incorporates the following plausible and widespread intuitions. (a) The word ‘even’ does not make a truth-functional difference; it makes a difference only in conventional implicature. In particular, ‘even’ functions neither as a universal quantifier, nor a most or many quantifier. The only quantified statement that ‘Even A is F’ implies is the existential claim ‘There is an x (namely, A) that is F’, but this implication is nothing more than what the Equivalence Thesis already demands. (b) ‘Even’ is epistemic in character, implying some type of unexpectedness, surprise, or unlikelihood. Moreover, despite Kay's arguments to the contrary, this implication is part of the meaning of ‘even’. (c) ‘Even’ is a scalar term, since unexpectedness comes in degrees. And, finally, (d) the felicity of an ‘even’-sentence S requires that S* be sufficiently surprising in comparison to its true neighbors. However,pace Bennett, being more surprising than just one true neighbor will not suffice. At the same time, being more surprising than all true neighbors is unnecessary. Suffice it that S* is more surprising than most true neighbors.
No keywords specified (fix it)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Revision history
Archival date: 2016-07-13
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
Even.Kay, Paul
Even and Even If.Lycan, William G.
Even If.Bennett, Jonathan

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Added to PP index

Total views
206 ( #15,521 of 41,573 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
40 ( #15,712 of 41,573 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.