[Japanese | English]
Talk 1
Talk 2
A standard neo-Gricean theory says that the numeral “seven” in “John kissed seven girls” is taken to mean “exactly seven” due to scalar implicature. Krifka (1999) argues that essentially the same mechanism gives an “exactly” reading to the cumulative sentence in (1).
(1) Three boys kissed seven girls.
Krifka also claims that a pragmatic account may render the numerals in a cumulative sentence an “at least” or even “at most” interpretation in different contexts, so in (2), “three” and “seventy” are understood as “at most three” and “at least seventy”, respectively, because the sentence is meant to describe a bias in a statistical distribution.
(2) In Guatemala, three percent of the population owns seventy percent of the land.
To evaluate these accounts, I have investigated scalar entailment relations among cumulative sentences in two kinds of contexts and in different combinations of the count/mass types of the nouns involved. It turns out that (1) does not have the “exactly” reading as claimed and the observed interpretation of (2) is straightforwardly predicted without mention of a statistical bias. I will show that the revealed entailment relations predict interesting but controversial scalar implicatures for cumulative sentences.
Talk 3
Last modified: 2014-02-12 11:31:49 JST