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Constraints on Numerical Expressions$
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Chris Cummins

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199687909

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199687909.001.0001

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Scalar implicatures from numerically quantified expressions

Scalar implicatures from numerically quantified expressions

(p.130) 5 Scalar implicatures from numerically quantified expressions
Constraints on Numerical Expressions

Chris Cummins

Oxford University Press

The previous chapter advanced a pragmatic account of the enriched meaning of superlative quantifiers, and then restated this in terms of the constraint-based model. However, the practical effect of this is admittedly quite modest: the account offered merely recaptures the meanings that have already been argued to be available, although it appears to be slightly more accurate in predicting precisely when these arise. In this chapter, the constraint-based model is used to draw a novel prediction, namely that comparative quantifiers also give rise to scalar implicatures, contrary to previous claims. The chapter further argues that the model can correctly predict when these enrichments fail to arise, and that the cases discussed in the literature as evidence that such implicatures do not occur are, in a principled sense, the exception rather than the rule.

Keywords:   comparative quantifier, scalar implicature, constraint, meaning, quantified expression

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