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
Original Paper

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Scope Reconstruction Focus particles Pragmatics 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Abusch, Dorit. 1994. The scope of indefinites. Natural Language Semantics 2: 83–135. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bayer, Josef. 1995. Directionality and logical form: On the scope of focusing particles and wh-in-situ. Dordrecht: Kluwer. Google Scholar
  3. Büring, Daniel. 1997. The meaning of topic and focus: The 59th street bridge accent. London: Routledge. Google Scholar
  4. Büring, Daniel, and Katharina Hartmann. 2001. The syntax and semantics of focus-sensitive particles in German. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 19: 229–281. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chierchia, Gennaro. 2001. A puzzle about indefinites. In Semantic interfaces, eds. Carlo Cecchetto, Gennaro Chierchia, and Maria Teresa Guasti, 51–89. Stanford: CSLI Publications. Google Scholar
  6. Davidson, Donald. 2006. On the very idea of a conceptual scheme. In The essential Davidson, eds. Ernie Lepore and Kirk Ludwig, 196–209. Oxford: Oxford University Press [1974]. Google Scholar
  7. Fanselow, Gisbert. 2004. Cyclic phonology-syntax-interaction: Movement to first position in German. In Working papers of the SFB 632, eds. Shinichiro Ishihara, Michaela Schmitz, and Anne Schwarz. Vol. 1 of Interdisciplinary studies on information structure, 1–42. Potsdam: University of Potsdam. Google Scholar
  8. Frey, Werner. 1993. Syntaktische Bedingungen für die semantische Interpretation: Über Bindung, implizite Argumente und Skopus. Berlin: Akademie Verlag. Google Scholar
  9. Gualmini, Andrea, Sarah Hulsey, Valentine Hacquard, and Danny Fox. 2008. The question-answer requirement for scope assignment. Natural Language Semantics 16: 205–237. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Heim, Irene, and Angelika Kratzer. 1998. Semantics in generative grammar. Oxford: Blackwell. Google Scholar
  11. Hulsey, Sarah, Valentine Hacquard, Danny Fox, and Andrea Gualmini. 2004. The question-answer requirement and scope assignment. In Plato’s problems: Papers on language acquisition. MITWPL 48, 71–90. Cambridge: MIT Press. Google Scholar
  12. Jacobs, Joachim. 1983. Fokus und Skalen. Tübingen: Niemeyer. Google Scholar
  13. Jacobs, Joachim. 1986. The syntax of focus and adverbials. In Topic, focus, and configurationality, eds. Werner Abraham and Sjaak de Meij, 103–128. Amsterdam: Benjamins. Google Scholar
  14. Meinunger, André. 2006. On the discourse impact of subordinate clauses. In The architecture of focus, eds. Valéria Molnár and Susanne Winkler, 459–487. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Google Scholar
  15. Reinhart, Tanya. 1976. The syntactic domain of anaphora. PhD thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass. Google Scholar
  16. Reis, Marga. 2005. On the syntax of so-called focus particles in German: A reply to Büring and Hartmann 2001. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 23: 459–483. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Schwarzschild, Roger. 2002. Singleton indefinites. Journal of Semantics 19: 289–314. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

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

Personalised recommendations