Contextual blindness in implicature computation

Natural Language Semantics 25 (2):109-124 (2017)
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In this paper, I defend a grammatical account of scalar implicatures. In particular, I submit new evidence in favor of the contextual blindness principle, assumed in recent versions of the grammatical account. I argue that mismatching scalar implicatures can be generated even when the restrictor of the universal quantifier in a universal alternative is contextually known to be empty. The crucial evidence consists of a hitherto unnoticed oddness asymmetry between formally analogous existential sentences with reference failure NPs. I conclude that the generation of mismatching scalar implicatures does not require contextual access.
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First archival date: 2015-11-21
Latest version: 7 (2016-11-27)
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A Natural History of Negation.Barwise, Jon & Horn, Laurence R.

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