Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 139–150 | Cite as

A pragmatic constraint on ambiguity detection

A rejoinder to Büring and Hartmann and to Reis
  • Marie-Christine MeyerEmail author
  • Uli Sauerland
Original Paper


Büring and Hartmann (2001) and Reis (2005) discuss reconstruction data with focus particles in German which they claim show that German allows adjunction of phonologically integrated focus particles to the root clause. We show that the facts are better explained by independent pragmatic constraints on semantic judgments and conclude therefore that there are no arguments in support of root clause adjunction of such focus particles in German.


Scope Reconstruction Focus particles Pragmatics 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Zentrum für Allgemeine SprachwissenschaftBerlinGermany

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