Free choice and distribution over disjunction: the case of free choice ability

Rick Nouwen

Abstract


This squib discusses the semantics of ability modals in relation to the law of distribution over disjunction and free choice effects. Most current analyses of free choice need distribution over disjunction as a theorem for modals in order to correctly derive free choice inferences. Famously, however, ability modals have been argued to fail to meet distribution over disjunction (Kenny 1976). The squib explores to what extent free choice abilities are dependent on the distribution property.

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Keywords


free choice; disjunction; ability; homogeneity

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3765/sp.11.4

License URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

ISSN: 1937-8912

Journal doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.3765/sp