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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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Quasi-Islands and Quantificational Interveners

Quasi-Islands and Quantificational Interveners

(p.173) 5 Quasi-Islands and Quantificational Interveners
Weak Island Semantics

Márta Abrusán

Oxford University Press

Quantifiers such as no one, less than 3, or every have been traditionally classified among weak-island inducers (cf. Szabolcsi 2006). However, the empirical and theoretical situation is more complicated in this case than with most other weak-island inducers. First of all, most quantifiers in questions give rise to scope ambiguity. Second, quantificational islands seem to be even more context-sensitive than typical weak islands. Third, the status of upward-entailing quantifiers is not as clear as might seem from a cursory glance at the literature. The above observations, discussed in detail in this chapter, together with the fact that we can observe modal obviation with quantificational interveners as well, provide a further strong motivation for a semantic account to weak islands. No present syntactic account can integrate such a fine-grained context-sensitivity. On a semantic approach, however, such facts are expected to arise.

Keywords:   weak islands, quantificational intervention, scope ambiguity in questions, quantifiers in questions, semantics of questions

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