Modified numerals and polarity sensitivity: Between O(nly)DA and E(ven)SA
Teodora Mihoc
September 2021

Bare numerals (BNs), comparative-modified numerals (CMNs), and superlative- modified numerals (SMNs) exhibit interesting differences with respect to scalar implicatures,ignorance, sensitivity to grammatical polarity, and sensitivity to pragmatic polarity. Each of these differences has been used to conclude fundamental difference—between BNs and MNs, within MNs, and within SMNs. Revisiting the manifestation of the effects within numerals and across numerals and disjunction, indefinites, and minimizers, as well as connections between the effects, in this paper I argue for fundamental similarity and propose a unified account. The account crucially explores interactions between subdomain alternatives and classic, Horn-style scalar alternatives as well as between O(nly) and E(ven), arguing in particular that sensitivity to grammatical/pragmatic polarity comes from O DA /E SA , and that both O and E are ultimately driven by the same pressure: To justify the choice of the assertion in light of its true alternatives.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/005729
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: To appear in Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung (SuB) 25
keywords: modified numerals, subdomain alternatives, scalar alternatives, o(nly), e(ven), semantics
previous versions: v1 [January 2021]
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