The Thought Uniqueness Hypothesis

Uli Sauerland


 A novel principle, the Thought Uniqueness Hypothesis (TUH), unifies several restrictions on interpretation that work in theoretical semantics has observed, in particular the following: binding and scope economy of Fox (2000, MIT Press), and constraints on types (Heim 2017, unpublished; Hirsch 2017, MIT Dissertation). The principle not only derives these phenomena, but makes additional novel pre- dictions such as a reduction of superiority and D-linking data and the interaction of i-within-i phenomena with coordination. Furthermore the principle exhibits close similarities to current work on exhaustification and efficiency (Meyer 2013, MIT Dissertation) with a potential for further unification. The statement of the TUH is most natural on a realizational view of grammar, where conceptual representations are generated by a non-linguistic system, and then realized by the linguistic sys- tem. It therefore argues against the view that surface word order plays a role in interpretation (Chomsky 1970, TEC Co., and others).

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