Natural Language Semantics

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 271–295

Upper-bounded no more: the exhaustive interpretation of non-strict comparison

Open Access

DOI: 10.1007/s11050-008-9034-2

Cite this article as:
Nouwen, R. Nat Lang Semantics (2008) 16: 271. doi:10.1007/s11050-008-9034-2


The paper concerns the expression of non-strict comparison, focusing in particular on constructions of the form [no(t) . . .-er than] in modified numerals. The main empirical finding is the observation that negated comparatives contrast with regular comparatives in that the former but not the latter can give rise to (scalar) implicatures. It is shown that such a contrast falls out of theories of exhaustive interpretation that claim alternatives to form dense scales. An important result is that the paper sharpens the desiderata for theories of exhaustification.


Modified numerals Exhaustive interpretation Comparison 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Utrecht Institute for Linguistics OTSUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

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