Are Scalar Implicatures Computed Online?

  • Gianluca Storto
  • Michael K. Tanenhaus


We adopt the visual-world eye-tracking paradigm to test the hypothesis that scalar implicatures are integrated very locally to the utterance of scalar terms. Focusing on the ⟨and, or⟩ scale, we show that early point-of-disambiguation effects similar to those triggered by the integration of the lexical meaning of and can be triggered by the integration of the exhaustive meaning of or. Some design issues and an independent interpretive asymmetry holding between and and or are discussed as possible explanations for remaining differences between the effects found in the two cases. We conclude that the exclusivity implicature that is associated to sentences containing or seems to be calculated online, rather locally to the utterance of the disjunction.
How to Cite
Storto, G., & Tanenhaus, M. K. (2019). Are Scalar Implicatures Computed Online?. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 9, 431-445.