UCL Working Papers in Linguistics 14 (2002)


Even if and even: The case for an inferential scalar account




This paper considers two central questions: (a) what is the general nature of the meaning encoded by even? and (b) what exactly is the meaning even encodes?  A wide variety of answers to these two questions, proposed in the linguistics and philosophy of language literature, are considered and it is argued that none of them are entirely satisfactory. As an alternative, an analysis is proposed according to which even encodes a procedural constraint on the context in which the utterance is to be processed.

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