Lexicalizing disjunction scope

Virginia Dawson


Tiwa (Tibeto-Burman; India) has two disjunctive particles, which give rise to different interpretations in sentences with other operators. I argue that this semantic distinction is not one of inclusive vs. exclusive disjunction, but one of scope. I provide an analysis that captures this scopal distinction: one particle lexicalizes a choice function variable (subject to existential closure high in the structure), and the other lexicalizes an alternative-set former which interacts with higher operators. I also show that wide scope disjunction in Tiwa behaves differently from wide scope readings of English "or", and suggest that they warrant different analyses.


disjunction; scope; choice functions; alternatives; semantic variation; Tiwa; Tibeto-Burman

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v4i1.4520

Copyright (c) 2019 Virginia Dawson

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