Supplements within a Unidimensional Semantics I: Scope

  • Philippe Schlenker
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6042)

Abstract

Potts (2005, 2007) claims that Grice’s ‘conventional implicatures’ offer a powerful argument in favor of a multidimensional semantics, one in which certain expressions fail to interact scopally with various operators because their meaning is located in a separate dimension. Focusing on Non-Restrictive Relative Clauses (= NRRs), we explore an alternative to Potts’s bidimensional account. In our analysis, (1) NRRs can be syntactically attached with matrix scope, despite their appearance in embedded positions; (2) NRRs can in some cases be syntactically attached within the scope of other operators (whether attitudinal or not), in which case they semantically interact with them; (3) NRRs are semantically conjoined with the rest of the sentence, but (4) they are subject to a pragmatic rule that requires that their content be relatively easy to accommodate – hence some non-trivial projection facts when NRRs do not have matrix scope. In this paper, we only develop (1) and (2), which pertain to the scopal behavior of NRRs. (1), which is in full agreement with the classic ‘high attachment’ analysis of NRRs, shows that Potts’s semantic machinery is not necessary: its effects follow from more conservative semantic assumptions once an adequate syntax is postulated. Because of (2), Potts’s machinery makes incorrect predictions when NRRs have a non-matrix attachment and interact scopally with other operators. Semantic arguments for (2) were given in Wang et al. 2005 and Amaral et al. 2007, but were re-analyzed in pragmatic terms in Harris and Potts 2009a, b; we provide new evidence that suggests that in some cases the latter analysis is implausible.

Keywords

supplements appositives non-restrictive relative clauses 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philippe Schlenker
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut Jean-Nicod, CNRSNew York University 

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