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Logic in GrammarPolarity, Free Choice, and Intervention$
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Gennaro Chierchia

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199697977

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199697977.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Logic in Grammar

Gennaro Chierchia

Oxford University Press

The introduction sets the stage for the inquiry pursued in the book. The items to be studied include: Universal Free Choice items: English any, Italian qualunque (free choice items with a universal quantificational force); Existential Free Choice items: German irgendein, Italian uno qualunque (free choice items with an existential quantificational force); Epistemic Indefinites: Italian un qualche, Romanian vreun (indefinites associated with an ignorance inference); Weak Negative Polarity Items: English ever, Italian mai (items restricted to (roughly) Downward Entailing contexts); N-words: Italian nessuno, neanche (items that participate in negative concord); Strong Negative Polarity Items: English in weeks, punctual until; (items limited to strongly negative context, such as antiadditive items); Emphatic NPIs and ‘minimizers’: English give a damn, lift a finger, Hindi khoii bhii) The main thesis to be developed is that the core meaning of all of the items in (a)-(e) is the same as that of ordinary indefinites like some/a; the items in (f)-(g) share with indefinites the property of identifying lowest values on some scale.

Keywords:   polarity system, negativity and downward monotonicity, free choice, intervention effects, assertions and alternatives

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