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The role of QUD and focus on the scalar implicature of <i>most</i>

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Abstract

Where previous studies supported the effect of the contextual property of Question Under Discussion (QUD) and focus on the scalar implicature of <i>or</i>, this paper presents two experiments that replicate this effect with the scalar term <i>most</i>. Both experiments show that, while story and target sentence are kept constant, more scalar implicatures are calculated when the scalar term is in the focus (new information) part of the sentence. In the experiments, the focus is manipulated by an explicit QUD. It is shown that the effect also holds for sentential answers to yes/no-questions, and might even extend to scalar implicatures in questions themselves.

References

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