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Natural Language Semantics

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 299–340 | Cite as

Presuppositions of quantified sentences: experimental data

  • Emmanuel ChemlaEmail author
Article

Abstract

Some theories assume that sentences like (i) with a presupposition trigger in the scope of a quantifier carry an existential presupposition, as in (ii); others assume that they carry a universal presupposition, as in (iii).
  1. (i)

    No student knows that he is lucky.

     
  2. (ii)

    Existential presupposition: At least one student is lucky.

     
  3. (iii)

    Universal presupposition: Every student is lucky.

     
This work is an experimental investigation of this issue in French. Native speakers were recruited to evaluate the robustness of the inference from (i) to (iii). The main result is that presuppositions triggered from the scope of the quantifier aucun‘no’ are in fact universal. But the present results also suggest that the presuppositions triggered from the scope of other quantifiers depend on the quantifier. This calls for important changes in the main theories of presupposition projection.

Keywords

Presupposition Scalar implicature Quantifier Experiment 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et PsycholinguistiqueEHESS/CNRS/DEC-ENSParisFrance

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