Anyone for non-scalarity?


This paper examines the status of scalarity in the analysis of the meaning of the English determiner any. The latter’s position as a prime exemplar of the category of polarity-sensitive items has led it to be generally assumed to have scalar meaning. Scalar effects are absent however from a number of common uses of this word. This suggests that any does not involve scales as part of its core meaning, but produces them as a derived interpretative property. The role of three factors in the derivation of the expressive effect of scalarity is explored: grammatical number, stress and the presence of gradable concepts in the NP. The general conclusions point to the importance of developing a causal semantic analysis in which the contributions of each of the various meaningful components of an utterance to the overall message expressed are carefully distinguished.

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Divisions: Languages & Social Sciences > French
Languages & Social Sciences > Centre for Language Research at Aston (CLaRA)
Languages & Social Sciences
Languages & Social Sciences > Aston Centre for Europe
Uncontrolled Keywords: Copyright of Cambridge University Press. The paper has been accepted for publication and will appear in a revised form,subsequent to editorial input by Cambridge University Press,in English Language and Linguistics published by Cambridge University Press.,Language and Linguistics,Linguistics and Language
Full Text Link: http://journals ... Journal?jid=ELL
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2010-02-09
Authors: Duffley, Patrick
Larrivée, Pierre


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