Focus Sensitive Coordination
Author(s)Hulsey, Sarah McNearney
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Linguistics and Philosophy.
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This thesis investigates the role of the Focus Sensitive Operators (FSOs) even and also when found inside of a coordination. Coordinations of this form are called Focus Sensitive Coordinations (FSC) and include or even, and even, and also, not only...but also, let alone, and as well as. I argue that let alone and as well as are composed of a coordination component and an (overt or covert) FSO adjoined to the left-hand coordinate. This analysis, taken together with Karttunen (1973)'s analysis of presupposition projection in disjunction, accounts for the fact that the existential presupposition of even does not project in an or even sentence, but it does in a let alone sentence. It is further shown that Focus Sensitive Coordination has a restricted distribution relative to ordinary coordination. In particular, FSC is generally possible only with propositional coordinates or coordinates that can be derived from propositional coordinates by way one of the kinds of ellipsis that can target coordination. Apparently smaller coordinates are subject to a range of prohibitions on remnants for gapping. This can be accounted for by a particular lexical entry for the FSOs and a prohibition against movement of the FSOs. Furthermore, a restriction on coordinations containing even adjoined to a noun phrase can be accounted for if we treat the resulting phrase as a generalized quantifier. Evidence from FSC also provides a new argument in favor of a treatment of even as being ambiguous between ordinary even and an NPI even (Rooth 1985).(cont.) It is shown that an alternative treatment which achieves the NPI-like meaning by QR of even above a downward-entailing operator (Karttunen and Peters 1979) cannot account for the FSC cases where even is found inside of a coordination. That theory incorrectly predicts that coordinations in which even is associated with the less likely disjunct should be as grammatical as those in which it is associated with the more likely one. Finally, I provide an account of a scope asymmetry between conjunction and disjunction in gapping and show that, together with a pragmatic entailment that arises from one of the presuppositions of even, this provides an account for the fact that the scope of disjunction in FSC is restricted in a way that the scope of ordinary disjunction is not.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Linguistics and Philosophy, 2008.Includes bibliographical references (p. 114-118).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Linguistics and Philosophy.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Linguistics and Philosophy.