LINGUIST List 20.3837|
Tue Nov 10 2009
Qs: Linguistic Strategies for Measure Phrase Readings
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Linguistic Strategies for Measure Phrase Readings
Message 1: Linguistic Strategies for Measure Phrase Readings
From: Zhiguo Xie <culinguistgmail.com>
Subject: Linguistic Strategies for Measure Phrase Readings
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Ewan Klein, among many others, observed that possibly measure phrases are
ambiguous between an 'at least' reading and an 'exactly' reading. The two
readings are illustrated in the exchanges in (i) and (ii) respectively.
(i) A. The minimum height for applicants for this job is six feet.
B. Well, Mona is six feet tall; in fact she’s six feet three. (at least)
(ii) A. How tall is Mona?
B. Mona is six feet tall.
C. No, you are wrong. She’s six feet three. (exactly)
My attempt is to find languages (if any) where the 'at least' and 'exactly'
readings of 'Mona is six feet tall' are expressed through distinct
linguistic strategies (e.g. different suffixes, sentential constructions,
etc, etc). I will really appreciate any data help and/or pointers to
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