But, scalar implicatures and covert quotation operators
Yael Greenberg
December 2017

This paper deals with a cross linguistically productive, yet puzzling construction which we call x but (really) X (e.g. John is always but (really) ALWAYS late), which surprisingly combines contrast and strengthening. We examine, but reject, an initial analysis where the conjuncts of but in this construction are domain-based or degree-based scalar alternatives and where the second, semantically stronger conjunct rejects a scalar implicature of the fi rst. We then develop a revised analysis where but is under the scope of a covert quotation operator (as in `mixed quotations'). The analysis captures the `metalinguistic' avor of x but X and the contribution of the `contrastive' semantics of but to the strengthening efect of the whole construction, and is shown to avoid over-generation risks.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003764
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Proceedings of Amsterdam Colloquium 2017
keywords: but, contrast, mealinguistic, scalar implicatures, quotation, alternatives, domain, degree, semantics
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