Testing the nature of variation effects with modified numerals

  • Stavroula Alexandropoulou

Abstract

Variation effects, which are akin to free choice effects, are triggered when a numeral is modified by the lower-bound superlative modifier at least and appears in certain embedded contexts. The dominant take on the derivation of those effects is a pragmatic view whereby they arise via an implicature-generating mechanism. In this paper, I present results from two experiments that tested the availability of variation inferences with lower-bound class B numeral modifiers in the scope of a universal quantifier as well as whether those inferences have a semantic or a pragmatic strength. I show that variation effects i) do arise, and ii) are pragmatic inferences, as predictedby the pragmatic view. Moreover, the findings of this study are compatible with an alternativeintroducing semantics for at least à la Büring (2008) and Coppock and Brochhagen (2013).
How to Cite
Alexandropoulou, S. (1). Testing the nature of variation effects with modified numerals. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 19, 36-53. Retrieved from https://ojs.ub.uni-konstanz.de/sub/index.php/sub/article/view/220

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