On the characterization of alternatives
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
We present an argument for revising the theory of alternatives for Scalar Implicatures and for Association with Focus. We argue that in both cases the alternatives are determined in the same way, as a contextual restriction of the focus value of the sentence, which, in turn, is defined in structure-sensitive terms. We provide evidence that contextual restriction is subject to a constraint that prevents it from discriminating between alternatives when they stand in a particular logical relationship with the assertion or the prejacent, a relationship that we refer to as symmetry. Due to this constraint on contextual restriction, discriminating between alternatives in cases of symmetry becomes the task of focus values. This conclusion is incompatible with standard type-theoretic definitions of focus values, motivating our structure-sensitive definition instead.
- Abrusán, Márta. 2007. Contradiction and grammar: The case of weak islands. PhD dissertation, MIT.
- Chemla, Emmanuel. 2009. Similarity: Towards a unified account of scalar implicatures, free choice permission and presupposition projection. Under revision for Semantics and Pragmatics.
- Chierchia, Gennaro. 2004. Scalar implicatures, polarity phenomena, and the syntax/pragmatics interface. In Structures and beyond, ed. A. Belletti. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Chierchia, Gennaro. (2006) Broaden your views: Implicatures of domain widening and the “logicality” of language. Linguistic Inquiry 37: pp. 535-590 CrossRef
- Chierchia, Gennaro, Danny Fox, and Benjamin Spector. 2008. The grammatical view of scalar implicatures and the relationship between semantics and pragmatics. In Handbook of semantics, ed. Paul Portner, Claudia Maienborn, and Klaus von Heusinger. New York, NY: Mouton de Gruyter.
- Fox, Danny. 2007a. Free choice disjunction and the theory of scalar implicatures. In Presupposition and implicature in compositional semantics, ed. Uli Sauerland and Penka Stateva, 71–120. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan.
- Fox, Danny. 2007b. Too many alternatives: Density, symmetry and other predicaments. In Proceedings of SALT 17, ed. T. Friedman and M. Gibson, 89–111. Ithaca, NY: CLC Publications.
- Grice, Paul. (1989) Studies in the way of words. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA
- Groenendijk, Jeroen, and Martin Stokhof. 1984. Studies in the semantics of questions and the pragmatics of answers. PhD dissertation, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Amsterdam.
- Hamblin, C.L. (1973) Questions in Montague English. Foundations of Language 10: pp. 41-53
- Horn, Laurence. 1972. On the semantic properties of the logical operators in English. PhD dissertation, UCLA.
- Horn, Laurence. (2000) From IF to IFF: Conditional perfection as pragmatic strengthening. Journal of Pragmatics 32: pp. 289-326 CrossRef
- Kadmon, Nirit. (2001) Formal pragmatics: Semantics, pragmatics, presupposition, and focus. Blackwell, Oxford
- Katzir, Roni. (2007) Structurally-defined alternatives. Linguistics and Philosophy 30: pp. 669-690 CrossRef
- Katzir, Roni. 2008. Structural competition in grammar. PhD dissertation, MIT.
- Kratzer, Angelika. (1989) An investigation of the lumps of thought. Linguistics and Philosophy 12: pp. 607-653 CrossRef
- Krifka, Manfr (1995) The semantics and pragmatics of polarity items. Linguistic Analysis 25: pp. 1-49
- Kroch, Anthony. 1972. Lexical and inferred meanings for some time adverbials. Quarterly Progress Reports of the Research Laboratory of Electronics 104, MIT, Cambridge, Mass.
- Lewis, David. (1988) Relevant implication. Theoria 54: pp. 161-174 CrossRef
- Magri, Giorgio. (2009) A theory of individual-level predicates based on blind mandatory scalar implicatures. Natural Language Semantics 17: pp. 245-297 CrossRef
- Matsumoto, Yo. (1995) The conversational condition on Horn Scales. Linguistics and Philosophy 18: pp. 21-60 CrossRef
- Rooth, Mats. 1985. Association with focus. PhD dissertation at University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
- Rooth, Mats. (1992) A theory of focus interpretation. Natural Language Semantics 1: pp. 75-116 CrossRef
- Sauerland, Uli. (2004) On embedded implicatures. Journal of Cognitive Science 5: pp. 107-137
- Sauerland, Uli. (2004) Scalar implicatures in complex sentences. Linguistics and Philosophy 27: pp. 367-391 CrossRef
- Sevi, Aldo. 2005. Exhaustivity: A semantic account of ‘quantity’ implicatures. PhD dissertation, Tel-Aviv University.
- Singh, Raj. (2008) On the interpretation of disjunction: Asymmetric, incremental, and eager for inconsistency. Linguistics and Philosophy 31: pp. 245-260 CrossRef
- Singh, Raj. 2010. A note on ignorance inferences. Handout of talk presented at MOSAIC, June 2010.
- Spector, Benjamin. 2006. Aspects de la pragmatique des opérateurs logiques. PhD dissertation, Université de Paris 7, Paris.
- von Fintel, Kai. 1994. Restrictions on quantifier domains. PhD dissertation, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
- von Fintel, Kai, and Danny Fox. 2002. Classnotes for ‘Pragmatics in linguistic theory’ DSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/36355.
- von Fintel, Kai, and Irene Heim. 1997. Classnotes on pragmatics. MIT.
- Rooij, Robert, Katrin, Schulz. (2004) Exhaustive interpretation of complex sentences. Journal of Logic, Language and Information 13: pp. 491-519 CrossRef
- Westerståhl, Dag. 1984. Determiners and context sets. In Generalized quantifiers in natural language, ed. Johan van Benthem and Alice ter Meulen, 45–71. Dordrecht: Foris.
- Zondervan, Arjen. 2009. Experiments on QUD and focus as a contextual constraint on scalar implicature calculation. In Semantics and Pragmatics: From Experiment to Theory, ed. Uli Sauerland and Kazuko Yatsushiro, 98–110. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan.
- On the characterization of alternatives
Natural Language Semantics
Volume 19, Issue 1 , pp 87-107
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Scalar implicature
- Focus semantics
- Contextual restriction