Hénot-Mortier (2022), A dynamic alternative-pruning account of asymmetries in Hurford Disjunctions.pdf (489.75 kB)
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Hénot-Mortier (2022), A dynamic alternative-pruning account of asymmetries in Hurford Disjunctions

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conference contribution
posted on 04.08.2022, 10:19 authored by Adèle Hénot-Mortier

Proceedings of the ESSLLI 2022 Student Session

A dynamic alternative-pruning account of asymmetries in Hurford Disjunctions

Adèle Hénot-Mortier

Hurford Disjunctions (HDs) are infelicitous disjuctions whereby one disjunct entails the other (Hurford 1974). The infelicity of basic HDs has been successfully modeled by several competing approaches (Schlenker 2009, Meyer 2013, Katzir 2014, Anvari 2018). HDs involving scalar items however, are subject to an asymmetry (Singh2008): when the weaker scalar item linearly precedes the stronger one, the sentence seems to be rescued from infelicity. This fact is not readily accounted for by standard approaches, which treat Hurford disjuncts in a symmetric fashion. Fox & Spector (2018) and Tomioka (2021) proposed two different solutions to that problem and extensions thereof, at the cost of positing a heavy or somewhat ad hoc machinery. Here we propose a novel analysis of this asymmetry, based the familiar process of alternative pruning. We suggest that exhaustification, which targets the weak disjunct, is based on a set of formal alternatives that is sensitive to previous material. Contrary to the other approaches, the asymmetry is derived via a direct computation, and not some global principle constraining either the insertion of the exhaustivity operator, or the particular shape of the alternative set.

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01/07/2099