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Natural Language Semantics

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 109–124 | Cite as

Contextual blindness in implicature computation

  • Salvatore Pistoia-Reda
Article

Abstract

In this paper, I defend a grammatical account of scalar implicatures. In particular, I submit new evidence in favor of the contextual blindness principle, assumed in recent versions of the grammatical account. I argue that mismatching scalar implicatures can be generated even when the restrictor of the universal quantifier in a universal alternative is contextually known to be empty. The crucial evidence consists of a hitherto unnoticed oddness asymmetry between formally analogous existential sentences with reference failure NPs. I conclude that the generation of mismatching scalar implicatures does not require contextual access.

Keywords

Scalar implicature Contextual knowledge Oddness Asymmetric entailment 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft (ZAS)BerlinGermany

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