LLI Meeting: Oct 21, 2013

LLI resumes this Monday, Oct. 21st, with our very own Raj Singh presenting his (joint) research with Roni Katzir.

Title: Hurford disjunctions: embedded exhaustification and structural economy

Abstract: Hurford’s Constraint, which bans disjunctions in which one disjunct entails the other, has been central to the debate between the pragmatic and the grammatical view on Scalar Implicatures. We provide evidence that Hurford’s Constraint should be derived from more basic principles, and we propose such a derivation using a pragmatic prohibition against redundant constituents. In a first, more conservative version, the redundancy is specific to disjunctions. In a second, more general version, redundancy is banned regardless of constituent type. Both versions make new predictions about the emergence of oddness in cases that are not covered by Hurford’s Constraint. Both require the grammatical view on Scalar Implicatures in order to work. The first version is too restricted. The second one is incorrect. We suggest that these difficulties can be overcome under a revised architecture in which the relevant redundancy principle applies cyclically within the grammar. The perspective makes new predictions about the distribution of oddness in conjunctions and conditionals, as well as about possible `degrees of oddness’ across redundancy types, where cyclic redundancies are penalized harsher than global, pragmatic redundancies.

We will meet at the usual time and location, 2:30 – 4pm in VSSM 5220. Have a great and productive weekend, everyone!

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