Comparative modified numerals revisited: scalar implicatures, granularity and blindness to context

Émile Enguehard


We present a theory of the pragmatics of comparative modified numerals such as “more than~5”. Our proposal is based on the assumption that they trigger alternatives derived from discrete “granularity scales”. This is sufficient to explain the basic pattern of scalar implicatures from comparative numerals; we then show how extra assumptions of blind exhaustification and QUD uncertainty refine the prediction in that we can explain how and when comparative numerals trigger irrelevance inferences.

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Copyright (c) 2018 Émile Enguehard