Adversative 'only' is only 'only'


  • Ido Benbaji
  • Omri Doron



The focus particle 'only' can be used as a sentential connective, conveying a contrast between its two propositional arguments. This paper provides the ingredients required to unite this 'adversative' use of 'only' with its exclusive use. We argue that adversative 'only' is just exclusive 'only' that associates with a full CP and therefore scopes above CP-level operators. We motivate a CP-level informativity operator that enforces a non-triviality condition on utterances and determines a CP’s rhetorical function in discourse, and show that its interaction with CP-adjoining 'only' can give rise to the adversative inference described in the literature.




How to Cite

Benbaji, I., & Doron, O. (2023). Adversative ’only’ is only ’only’. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 27, 64–80.