Evaluation and consumption

Charley Evan Beller, Erin Zaroukian


Singular indefinite objects of evaluative predicates (e.g. like) are interpreted specifically (1). But several constructions do not yield specific readings, (2).

(1) # John likes a cookie. (specific reading/#kind reading)
(2) a. John likes a cookie after dinner.
b. John likes having a cookie.
c. John likes a good cookie.
d. John likes a cookie as much as the next guy.

We propose that constructions with a minimal consumption-situation reading license a contextual operator which binds the object, giving it a non-specific reading.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/exabs.v0i0.579