Free relatives
Radek Simik
June 2018

This is a survey article about the semantics of free relatives. Issues discussed include the basic denotation of free relatives (detailed comparison between the definite, universal, and indefinite positions), semantics of ever free relatives (expressing ignorance, indifference, or non-modal kinds of variation), and the issue of how free relatives get derived compositionally. The article contains a summary of what has been discovered in the past quarter of a century, but it also discusses novel crosslinguistic data, which suggest that the so called non-modal readings of ever free relatives seem to be most common crosslinguistically (despite the impression created by the literature on English free relatives).
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003729
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: To appear in Daniel Gutzmann, Lisa Matthewson, C├ęcile Meier, Hotze Rullmann, and Thomas Ede Zimmermann (eds.), Semantics companion. Wiley-Blackwell
keywords: free relatives, ever free relatives, wh-words, ignorance, indifference, crosslinguistic perspective, semantics, morphology, syntax
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