Unconditionals and free choice unified

Semantics and Linguistic Theory 29 (2019)
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Abstract

Rawlins (2013: 160) observes that both unconditionals and more classical free choice can be meta-characterized using orthogonality, but does not actually unify the two. One reason may be that in English, different expressions serve in these roles. By contrast, in Hungarian, AKÁR expressions serve as NPIs, FCIs, and unconditional adjuncts, but not as interrogatives or free relatives. This paper offers a unified account of the Hungarian data, extending Chierchia 2013 and Dayal 2013. The account produces the same unconditional meanings that Rawlins derives from an interrogative basis. This result highlights the fact that sets of alternatives arise from different morpho-syntactic sources and are utilized by the grammar in different ways, but the results may fully converge.

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Anna Szabolcsi
New York University

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