The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

LFRG 10/4 - Chris O’Brien

The organizers of LFRG would like to arrange a few meetings around the theme of exhaustivity and scalar implicatures this semester. If anyone would like to present so if anyone would like to present a paper or ideas of their own on these topics, please contact Edwin Howard or Chris O’Brien.

Speaker: Chris O’Brien
Date/Time: Friday 10/4, 1-2.30 pm
Location: 32-D831
Topic: Experimental evidence for embedded scalar implicatures (Chemla & Spector 2011)

Chris O’Brien will discuss Chemla & Spector’s 2011 paper “Experimental evidence for embedded scalar implicatures”. Abstract of the paper:

“Scalar implicatures are traditionally viewed as pragmatic inferences which result from a reasoning about speakers’ communicative intentions (Grice 1989). This view has been challenged in recent years by theories which propose that scalar implicatures are a grammatical phenomenon. Such theories claim that scalar implicatures can be computed in embedded positions and enter into the recursive computation of meaning—something that is not expected under the traditional, pragmatic view. Recently, Geurts and Pouscoulous (2009) presented an experimental study in which embedded scalar implicatures were not detected. Using a novel version of the truth value judgment tasks, we provide evidence that subjects sometimes compute embedded scalar implicatures.”