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Weak Island Semantics$
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Márta Abrusán

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199639380

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199639380.001.0001

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Presuppositional Islands*

Presuppositional Islands*

(p.57) 2 Presuppositional Islands*
Weak Island Semantics

Márta Abrusán

Oxford University Press

This chapter proposes a semantic account for factive and other presuppositional islands. The central claim made is that these islands arise because they trigger contradictory presuppositions. The reason a contradictory presupposition arises in the case of manner and degree islands is based on two independently motivated assumptions about the domain of manners and degrees. The first is that the domain of manners contains contraries. The second is that degree predicates relate individuals to intervals (cf. Schwarzschild and Wilkinson 2002, Heim 2006). Because of these particular properties of the domains of manners and degrees, there will always be at least two mutually incompatible propositions that are part of the set of presuppositions of the question. But since no context can entail two mutually exclusive propositions, there is no context in which an answer to manner or degree questions containing the above-mentioned presuppositional items can be asserted.

Keywords:   weak islands, factive islands, extrapostional islands, presuppositions of questions, adverbial interveners, contradictory presuppositions

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