Natural Language Semantics

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 1–34 | Cite as

On the meaning of some focus-sensitive particles

  • Michela IppolitoEmail author


In this paper, I argue that the aspectual, marginality, and concessive uses of the grading particles still and already can be reduced to the fol lowing three classes of focus sensitive-grading particles: additive particles like too, scalar particles like even, and exclusive particles like only. The meaning differences among the occurrences of still (and already) are mostly reduced to the differences among these three classes of grading particles. In turn, these differences are shown to correlate with what type of object is denoted by the phrase in the scope of the particle. The proposal has repercussions also for the focus-sensitive particle again. I investigate the latter too, and I propose a parallel between the temporal and nominal domains where the contrast between still and again is analyzed along the lines of the contrast between definite and indefinite noun phrases.


Actual World Noun Phrase Past Time Additive Particle Scalar Implicature 
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© Springer Science+Business Media 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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