Contradiction-free strengthening and alternative discharge: The case of Farsi -i indefinites.

  • Luis Alonso-Ovalle
  • Esmail Moghiseh

Abstract

Existential Free Choice Items (EFCIs) differ from each other both within and across languages with respect to a number of parameters (Alonso-Ovalle and Mene´ndez-Benito, 2015; Chierchia, 2013). Our understanding of the possible variation within this class of items is rather limited, however,  because the sample of EFCIs that have been studied in depth is also quite narrow. This paper contributes new data. We zoom in on a variety of indefinites in Farsi (Indo-Iranian), which we call -i indefinites (i-INDs for short), that share some core properties of EFCIs. The paper has two main goals. It discusses (a) where i-INDs fit crosslinguistically, and (b) how they fit within the type of alternative-based theory of EFCIs developed in Chierchia (2013). With respect to (a), the paper shows that i-INDs pattern with other EFCIs in modal and downward entailing contexts, but, surprisingly, with ordinary indefinites in unembedded contexts.  With respect to (b), the paper shows that the behavior of i-INDs is predicted by an alternative-based theory if, as a last resort strategy,  some EFCIs allow for the deactivation of some of the alternatives that they invoke, under the threat of deriving  a contradiction.
Published
2019-07-19
How to Cite
Alonso-Ovalle, L., & Moghiseh, E. (2019). Contradiction-free strengthening and alternative discharge: The case of Farsi -i indefinites. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 23(1), 1-18. https://doi.org/10.18148/sub/2019.v23i1.489