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Tracking Down Disjunction

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNAI,volume 10091)

Abstract

Kuno (1973) and others describe the Japanese junctor ya as conjunction. But, Sudo (2014) analyzes ya as a disjunction with a conjunctive implicature. We compare ya with other junctors and implicature triggers experimental using mouse-tracking. Our two main results are: (1) ya differs from lexical conjunctions corroborating Sudo’s (2014) proposal. (2) The time-course of the conjunctive implicature of ya argues against the details of Sudo’s (2014) implementation, and instead favors an account similar to other cases of conjunctive implicatures.

Keywords

  • Implicature
  • Disjunction
  • Conjunction
  • Alternatives
  • Numerals
  • Mouse-tracking
  • Japanese

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Notes

  1. 1.

    In this paper, we use the terms isotone for contexts f that preserve the order by subset or entailment (i.e. \(a \subset b \rightarrow f(a) \subset f(b)\)), and antitone for those the reverse this order (i.e. \(a \subset b \rightarrow f(b) \subset f(a)\)) following e.g. Birkhoff (1940). In linguistics, the terms ±affective, up-/downward entailing (UE/DE), or up-/downward monotone are also used for the same concepts. But we find these terms less convenient because of their association with elementary calculus and intuitions that don’t apply in the algebraic framework of semantics.

  2. 2.

    Sudo (personal communication) points out that there is a further argument to be made in favor of the disjunctive analysis of ya based on non-monotonic environments. Since Sudo’s work on this is in progress, I refrain from presenting his argument at this point.

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Acknowledgments

We are grateful to Hye-Jeong Lee, Yasutado Sudo, Kazuko Yatsushiro, four anonymous reviewers, and the audiences of LENLS at the Ochanomizu University, the workshop on Questions and Disjunction at the University of Vienna, and the 39th GLOW colloquium at the University of Göttingen for their comments, and to Ryo Tachibana for technical support. The work reported in this paper was funded primarily by the German research council (DFG project SSI, SA 925/11-1, within SPP 1727 XPrag.de. In addition, it was supported in part by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF, Grant No. 01UG1411), the Alexander von Humboldt foundation (postdoctoral fellowship for J. M. Tomlinson Jr.), and Tohoku University.

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Sauerland, U., Tamura, A., Koizumi, M., Tomlinson, J.M. (2017). Tracking Down Disjunction. In: Otake, M., Kurahashi, S., Ota, Y., Satoh, K., Bekki, D. (eds) New Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence. JSAI-isAI 2015. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 10091. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-50953-2_9

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-50953-2_9

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