The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

LF Reading Group 11/29 - Moshe Bar-Lev (HUJI)

Speaker: Moshe Bar-Lev (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Title: Don’t mind the gap: an implicature account of Homogeneity
Date and time: Wednesday November 29, 1-2pm
Location: 32-D461

I will present an implicature-based view of Homogeneity with definite plurals (following Magri 2014’s lead) in which the universal meaning definite plurals give rise to in positive sentences is the result of implicature calculation, while the existential meaning they give rise to in negative sentences reflects the basic meaning.

The proposed account builds on the implicature approach to free choice disjunction, which I claim behaves similarly to Homogeneity. Given this perspective, Non-maximal readings of definite plurals can be taken to follow from the context-sensitivity of implicature calculation, and neither-true-nor-false judgments can be the result of context-indeterminacy. This is in contrast with a view in which they motivate semantically encoding a truth-value gap (recently Križ 2016).

To support the implicature-based account I will discuss asymmetries between positive and negative contexts in children’s interpretation of definite plurals (Tieu et al. 2015), non-maximal readings, and neither-true-nor-false judgments (Križ & Chemla 2015).