The interpretation of superlative modifiers and deontic modals: An experimental investigation

  • Yaron McNabb
  • Doris Penka

Abstract

There has been much debate recently about the meaning of superlative modifiers like at least and at most. The main challenge analyses of superlative modifiers face is accounting for the ignorance implication they give rise to, whereby the speaker holds higher (in at least) or lower (in at most) numbers as possible. In this study, we present results from two experiments that test the interpretation of superlative modifiers when occurring in sentences with deontic modals. We show that the results of the experiments are only partially predicted by the various competing and incompatible analyses in the literature, and thus argue that an alternative, uniform analysis is required.
How to Cite
McNabb, Y., & Penka, D. (1). The interpretation of superlative modifiers and deontic modals: An experimental investigation. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 18, 271-288. Retrieved from https://ojs.ub.uni-konstanz.de/sub/index.php/sub/article/view/317