Higher-order quantification and free choice in "how many"-questions
Francesco Gentile, Bernhard Schwarz
March 2020

In Gentile and Schwarz (2018), we observed that certain how many-questions carry uniqueness presuppositions that can be understood as instances of Dayal’s (1996) Maximal Informativity Presupposition. We also observed, however, that uniqueness presuppositions can unexpectedly go missing in the presence of a possibility modal. In this paper, we offer an explanation for the obviation of uniqueness presupposition by possibility modals. Building on a suggestion in Spector (2008), we propose that obviation is due to higher-order wh-quantification feeding free choice strengthening within the question nucleus.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/005098
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: draft of paper to appear in Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 24
keywords: wh-questions, how many-questions, uniqueness presuppositions, maximal informativity presupposition, modals, higher-order quantification, free choice strengthening, semantics
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