On the derivation of sentences with systematically unspecifiable interpretations
This chapter examines the form and interpretation of ‘OM-sentences’ such as One more can of beer and I’m leaving. It shows that such a sentence admits three ‘interpretations’, which are very closely related to more commonly encountered constructions, including conditionals. However, there are aspects of the interpretation of such a sentence which are systematically unspecifiable. These sentences should not be derived from more complex underlying structures, but they are in fact underlain by structures characterizable by the phrase structure rule: S→ NP CONJ S. To complete the analysis, the chapter shows how rules of semantic interpretation may be devised which capture the similarities between sentences like this one and other constructions in a very natural way.
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