Non-uniform plural inferences as scalar implicature


  • Ryan Walter Smith



Persian possesses a type of full root reduplication called m-reduplication that, when applied to a noun, results in a non-homogeneous plural interpretation; a reduplicated nominal is understood to refer to one or more objects in the denotation of the predicate denoted by the bare noun, as well as one or more objects that are similar in some respect to the bare noun. Although previous work has characterized m-reduplication as denoting a non- homogeneous plurality, evidence from non-upward-entailing environments and pragmatic contexts establishing speaker ignorance demonstrates that the non-homogeneous plural inference associated with reduplication is not entailed, but merely implicated. I provide an analysis of m-reduplication as involving higher-order scalar implicature (Spector, 2007), and further explain variation in the interpretation of m-reduplication in non-upward-entailing contexts. Finally, I unify the analysis of m-reduplication with that of the non-exhaustive expressions -toka and -tari in Japanese, providing a more satisfactory analysis of the latter than was present in previous work (Smith and Kobayashi, 2018).




How to Cite

Smith, R. W. (2019). Non-uniform plural inferences as scalar implicature. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 23(2), 305–316.