"Just" don’t ask: Exclusives and potential questions

  • Alex Warstadt

Abstract

The English exclusive just is not synonymous with other exclusives such as only in sentences like Sometimes, bad things just/only happen. I give a new analysis of just which explains this and other puzzling readings of just observed in earlier work (e.g. Wiegand, 2016; Beltrama, 2018). I argue that just excludes alternatives derived from a potential question, or possible future QUD, in the sense of Onea (2016). This new perspective makes it possible to give the first unified account of these non-canonical exclusive readings of just, and provides evidence that the semantics of lexical items can be sensitive to possible futures of the discourse.
Published
2020-09-18
How to Cite
Warstadt, A. (2020). "Just" don’t ask: Exclusives and potential questions. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 24(2), 373-390. https://doi.org/10.18148/sub/2020.v24i2.903