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Academic Paper


Title: Anyone for non-scalarity?
Author: Patrick J Duffley
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.fl.ulaval.ca/lli/PDuffley.htm
Institution: Université Laval
Author: Pierre Larrivée
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.crisco.unicaen.fr/Pierre-LARRIVEE.html
Institution: University of Caen Basse-Normandie
Linguistic Field: Semantics
Abstract: This article examines the status of scalarity in the analysis of the meaning of the English determiner any. The latter's position as a prime exemplar of the category of polarity-sensitive items has led it to be generally assumed to have scalar meaning. Scalar effects are, however, absent from a number of common uses of this word. This suggests that any does not involve scales as part of its core meaning, but produces them as a derived interpretative property. The role of three factors in the derivation of the expressive effect of scalarity is explored: grammatical number, stress and the presence of gradable concepts in the NP. The general conclusions point to the importance of developing a causal semantic analysis in which the contributions of each of the various meaningful components of an utterance to the overall message expressed are carefully distinguished.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in English Language and Linguistics Vol. 14, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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