A compositional semantics for free choice constituent unconditionals

  • Aurore Gonzalez
  • Karoliina Lohiniva


The realization of unconditionals is subject to variation across different languages (Haspelmath and König, 1998). In this paper, we zoom in on European French, and propose a unified analysis of two types of constituent unconditionals (CUs) in the language. On the syntactic side, we propose that in both types of CUs, the adjunct clause always contains a free choice item (FCI), but this FCI can be partially elided. On the semantic side, we propose a fully compositional analysis of these two types of CUs. We further derive the characteristic properties of CUs (Haspelmath and König, 1998; Rawlins, 2013) from exhaustification (Chierchia, 2013: among others) and the principle of viability (Dayal, 2013), which have been argued to play a crucial role in the semantics of FCIs. Our approach is thus closely related to recent work on alternative unconditionals in Hungarian (Szabolcsi, 2019) and free choice in Romance (Caponigro and Falaus, 2018), and contrasts with previous work on English, where the CU adjunct clause is analyzed as a wh-question (Rawlins, 2013).
How to Cite
Gonzalez, A., & Lohiniva, K. (2020). A compositional semantics for free choice constituent unconditionals. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 24(1), 223-241. https://doi.org/10.18148/sub/2020.v24i1.863