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Title: Running the gauntlet on the approximatives debate: A response to recent challenges
Authors: Ziegeler, D. 
Keywords: Approximatives
Negative polarity
Scalar implicatures
Issue Date: 2010
Citation: Ziegeler, D. (2010). Running the gauntlet on the approximatives debate: A response to recent challenges. Journal of Pragmatics 42 (3) : 681-704. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The debate on the semantic classification of approximative adverbs (approximators, in some accounts) has endured nearly three decades of constant interchange between proponents of an entailment interpretation (e.g., Horn, 2002) and those who suggest a more pragmatic description closer to a conversational implicature (e.g., in the first instance, Sadock, 1981). The research more recently has tended towards an empirical perspective, in which 'inverted' examples of use and the intuitions of native speakers are held to investigation, and historical data are also considered (e.g., Pons Bordería and Schwenter, 2005). The present study reviews some of the recent accounts and responds to recent challenges on the methodology used in earlier studies, as well as providing new insights from historical usage. The status of almost is seen from a diachronic perspective as a semi-conventional or conventionalising implicature, while its polar counterpart, barely, is considered identifiable as a de-conventionalising entailment. The current, synchronic stage of development of the two proximative opposites is thus perceived to be crucial to a complete understanding of their semantics. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Source Title: Journal of Pragmatics
ISSN: 03782166
DOI: 10.1016/j.pragma.2009.07.008
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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