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What Discourse Can(not) Teach Us

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This paper has two goals. First, it defends my circumbounded analysis for scalar quantifiers most (Ariel, 2004) and some, according to which the upper bound is lexically specified. Based on new questionnaire results, I here argue against discourse-based counter-arguments against the circumbounded analysis. At the same time, the paper also makes a more general, methodological point about the (mis)use of discourse patterns in linguistic analyses. I argue that discourse patterns directly reflect only discourse/pragmatic principles. Hence, we cannot simply argue for or against specific semantic analyses based on prevalent discourse patterns, for the correct account for the pattern may be pragmatic, rather than semantic.

Affiliations: 1: Tel Aviv University, Israel


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