Scalar implicature and exceptional scope
Simon Charlow
March 2019

There is lots of work on scalar implicature, lots of work on the exceptional scope properties of indefinites, and comparatively little work on the scalar implicatures of exceptionally scoping indefinites. This note points out that a phenomenon of 'exceptional scalar distributivity' suggests that the scalar alternatives of indefinites are more abstract than we might have figured: they don’t correspond to any actually expressible lexemes, and they aren't, strictly speaking, alternatives of the indefinite determiner at all! I develop a rudimentary account, pointing out various issues, predictions, and choice points along the way. I show that two different kinds of theories can be used to explain the data: one uses choice functions for exceptional scope, and another uses alternatives directly.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003181
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Resubmitted to Linguistic Inquiry
keywords: implicature, indefinites, islands, alternative semantics, choice functions, semantics
previous versions: v1 [October 2016]
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