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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.

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This article appears IN English Language and Linguistics Vol. 14, Issue 1.

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