Issue of Monday, October 27th, 2014
The 45th annual meeting of the North East Linguistic Society will be held at the MIT on October 31 - November 2nd, 2014. Invited speakers are:
Please visit the conference website for more information.
There will be no Phonology Circle meeting this week.
Speaker and title: to be announced Time: Wednesday 10/29, 5:00 pm Room: 32-D831
Speaker: Andreea Nicolae (ZAS Berlin) Title: Positive polarity and strength of scalar implicatures Date/Time:Thursday, October 30, 12:30-1:45pm Location: 32-D461
The goal of this talk is to offer a new analysis of positive polarity elements in light of the differences between weak and strong disjunction (“or” versus “either or”). I will be addressing the following three properties of disjunctive elements in this talk: ◦ the ease of cancelability (strength) of their scalar inference ◦ the PPI status of a disjunctive element ◦ the ignorance inference that accompanies both weak and strong disjunction
I will argue the following: ◦ the strength of the SI relates to the nature of the alternatives activated by the element at play, namely whether or not the scalar alternatives are obligatory (non-prunable). ◦ the PPI status is the result of an element’s appeal to non-vacuous exhaustification, i.e. proper strengthening. ◦ the epistemic ignorance inference is the result of a last resort way of avoiding a contradiction, namely via the insertion of a covert modal.
If time permits, we will also see how this account can be carried over to account for the PPI status of existential quantifiers.