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Epistemic and scopal properties of <i>some</i> indefinites

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Abstract

This paper experimentally examines the behavior of English <i>some</i> indefinites, addressing the following research questions. (i) How do singular <i>some</i> indefinites behave with respect to scopal (non-)specificity? (ii) How do singular <i>some</i> indefinites pattern with respect to epistemic (non-)specificity? And (iii) Does stress (or lack thereof) on <i>some</i> influence the behavior of <i>some</i> indefinites with respect to epistemic and/or scopal (non-)specificity, and if so, how? The findings of two experimental studies with adult native English speakers indicate that <i>some</i> indefinites take long-distance scope more readily than <i>a</i> indefinites, and carry a condition of epistemic non-specificity; stress on <i>some</i> is related to both properties. These findings are discussed in light of different theories of indefinite interpretation.

References

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