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

  • Alex Warstadt


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.
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