Modals in St’át’imcets (Lillooet Salish) show two differences from their counterparts in English. First, they have variable quantificational force, systematically allowing both possibility and necessity interpretations; and second, they lexically restrict the conversational background, distinguishing for example between deontic and (several kinds of) epistemic modality. We provide an analysis of the St’át’imcets modals according to which they are akin to specific indefinites in the nominal domain. They introduce choice function variables which select a subset of the accessible worlds. Following Klinedinst, (...) we assume distributivity over the resulting set of worlds. St’át’imcets modals thus receive a uniform interpretation as (distributive) pluralities. The appearance of variability in modal force arises because the choice function can select a larger or smaller subset of accessible worlds. Finally, we discuss the implications of our analysis for the investigation of modal systems in other languages. (shrink)
A semantics for interrogatives is presented which is based on Karttunen's theory, but in a flexible manner incorporates both weak and strong exhaustivity. The paper starts out by considering degree questions, which often require an answer picking out the maximal degree from a certain set. However, in some cases, depending on the semantic properties of the question predicate, reference to the minimal degree is required, or neither specifying the maximum nor the minimum is sufficient. What is needed is an operation (...) which defines the maximally informative answer on the basis of the Karttunen question denotation. Shifting attention to non-degree questions, two notions of answerhood are adopted from work by Heim. The first of these is weakly exhaustive and the second strongly exhaustive. The second notion of answerhood is proven to be equivalent to Groenendijk and Stokhof's interrogative semantics. On the basis of a wide range of empirical data showing that questions often are not interpreted exhaustively, it is argued that a fairly rich system of semantic objects associated with questions is needed to account for the various ways in which questions contribute to the semantics and pragmatics of the utterances in which they appear. (shrink)
Confederate service, Confederate propaganda. Although not born in the South, Henry Hotze's devotion to the cause of the Confederacy was as ardent as that of any native secessionist. As a member of the Mobile Cadets, an elite volunteer company of the Gulf City, Hotze was ordered to Virginia at the start of war as part of the Third Alabama Regiment. He distinguished himself in many ways, primarily off the battlefield as a clerk and European go-between. In November of (...) 1861, he was appointed to the position of Commercial Agent at London by C.S.A. Secretary of State R.M.T. Hunter, who instructed him to take the pulse of the English public on Confederate sentiment and to publish articles there that would cast the Confederacy in a favorable light. These articles appeared first in The Index, the newspaper that Hotze established in London, and reveal Hotze's skill as both a reporter and a propagandist for the Confederacy. (shrink)
Using medical advances to enhance human athletic, aesthetic, and cognitive performance, rather than to treat disease, has been controversial. Little is known about physicians? experiences, views, and attitudes in this regard. We surveyed a national sample of physicians to determine how often they prescribe enhancements, their views on using medicine for enhancement, and whether they would be willing to prescribe a series of potential interventions that might be considered enhancements. We find that many physicians occasionally prescribe enhancements, but doctors hold (...) nuanced and ambiguous views of these issues. Most express concerns about the potential effects of enhancements on social equity, yet many also believe specific enhancements that are safe and effective should be available but not covered by insurance. These apparently contradictory views might reflect inherent tensions between the values of equity and liberty, which could make crafting coherent social policies on medical enhancements challenging. [Supplementary materials are available for this article. Go to the publisher's online edition of American Journal of Bioethics for the following free supplemental resource(s): An additional table (Table 5) referred to on p. 5]. (shrink)
This paper proposes that both weak and strong NPIs in English are sensitive to the downward entailingness of their licensers. It is also proposed, however, that these two types of NPIs pay attention to different aspects of the meaning of their environment. As observed by von Fintel and Chierchia, weak NPIs do not attend to the scalar implicatures of presuppositions of their licensers. Strong NPIs see both the truth-conditional and non-truth-conditional (scalar implications, presuppositions) meaning of their licensers. This theory accounts (...) for the puzzling inability, noted by Rullmann and Gajewski, of Strawson anti-additive operators to license strong NPIs, as well as for the effects of Zwarts’s hierarchy of negative strength. Additional issues concerning comparative quantifiers, few, and proportional quantifiers are addressed. (shrink)
There is one salient difference between equative constructions like John drove as fast as Mary did in English and Slovenian: while the former do not allow a downward-entailing operator to occur in the standard clause and c-command the degree argument that is abstracted over, the latter do. This holds, however, only if the equative occurs without a multiplicative degree modifier. We show how these facts can be captured on relatively simple assumptions about the make-up of equative constructions. Building on the (...) insights of von Stechow and Rullmann about the distribution of downward-entailing operators in degree constructions, we argue that the behavior of equatives in Slovenian provides new support for the following two conclusions: that maximality, although a component of equatives, is separable from the other ingredients of the construction and that degree domains are always dense. (shrink)
It is argued, contra Beck and Rullmann (1999), and with Heim (1994), that the sources of strongly exhaustive interpretations and `de dicto' interpretations of wh-complements of veridical question-embedding verbs are one and the same. Beck and Rullmann's theory is shown to predict certain `de dicto' readings which do not exist, while a particular rendition of Heim's theory is shown to constrain the generation of `de dicto' readings in the correct way.
We observe that the facts pertaining to the acceptability of negative polarity items (henceforth, NPIs) in interrogative environments are more complex than previously noted. Since Klima [Klima, E. (1964). In J. Fodor & J. Katz (Eds.), The structure of language. Prentice-Hall], it has been typically assumed that NPIs are grammatical in both matrix and embedded questions, however, on closer scrutiny it turns out that there are differences between root and embedded environments, and between question nucleus and wh-restrictor. While NPIs are (...) always licensed in the nucleus of root questions, their acceptability in the restrictor of wh-phrases and in the nucleus of any embedded question depends on the logical properties of the linguistic environment: its strength in terms of exhaustivity [Groenendijk, J., & Stokhof, M. (1984). Studies on the semantics of questions and the pragmatic answers. Amserdam (NL), Post-Doctoral Dissertation. Heim, I. (1994). In R. Buchalla & A. Mittwoch (Eds.), Proceedings of the 9th annual IATL conference and of the 1993 IATL workshop on discourse (pp. 128-144). Akademon, Jerusalem. Beck, S., & Rullmann, H. (1999). Natural Language Semantics, 7, 249-298. Sharvit, Y. (2002). Natural Language Semantics, 10, 97-123] and its monotonicity properties (in the sense of von Fintel [von Fintel, K. (1999). Journal of Semantics, 16, 97-148]). (shrink)