Against class A treatment of no more : experimental evidence from Czech



Year of publication 2020
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description Background. Previous research on modified numerals established some widely accepted contrasts between comparative modifiers (CM) and superlative modifiers (SM) (see Büring 2008; Geurts and Nouwen 2007; Nouwen 2015; Mayr 2013; Schwarz 2016 a.o.), such as: (i) CM don’t but SM do giveraise to obligatory ignorance implicatures; (ii) CM can scope over or under existential modals (EM)but SM have to outscope them. Ano more than Numconstruction (NMC), where negation and comparison are combined in a way exemplified by an English sentence (1) from Nouwen (2008), to this day the most developed formal treatment of NMC, is then claimed to allow both scopes w.r.t.EM (Nouwen 2008) and to have scalar bounding inference, signalling speaker’s well-informedness (ibid), since English no more construction (unlike class B modifiers) give raise to equality readings like (=50) for (1). Such claims seem to be supported by the comparative morphology of NMC. I bring new experimental and corpus evidence against both claims, showing that (cross-linguistically) (i)NMC can be interpreted only with wider scope then EM; (ii) NMC is compatible (mostly) only with speaker’s insecurity (or so-called variation) readings as SM. The experimental and corpus evidence comes from Czech as it was observed before that Slavic languages (unlike English) generally don’t support speaker’s well-informedness NMC interpretation (Dočekal 2017).
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