Until-phrases as obligatory free choice items

  • Frank Staniszewski


ollowing Mittwoch (1977), Iatridou and Zeijlstra (to appear), I attempt a unified account of until (which has proven challenging for reasons I discuss). I propose a basic weak meaning, which obligatorily strengthens in upward-entailing environments in a manner similar to free-choice. Infelicity then results in cases where this strengthened meaning contradicts contextual knowledge about the sentences that the until phrase modifies. I argue that this account avoids the empirical problems of previous accounts, and also provides a way to understand until’s status as a ‘strong’ NPI: Its restricted distribution in (merely) Strawson downward-entailing environments can be explained with independently motivated mechanisms governing the interaction between presuppositions and implicatures.
How to Cite
Staniszewski, F. (2020). Until-phrases as obligatory free choice items. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 24(2), 271-288. https://doi.org/10.18148/sub/2020.v24i2.897