Over the last decade, various proposals have been made for supplanting the classical Gricean theory of scalar implicature with conventionalist (i.e. lexicalist or syntax-based) treatments. In contradistinction to the classical view, conventionalist theories predict that scalar inferences occur systematically and freely in embedded positions. We present experimental evidence that disproves this prediction, arguing along the way that there are rather good reasons to suspect that introspection isn't always a reliable tool for gathering data on pragmatic inferences.
implicatures, scalar implicatures, embedded implicatures
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Journal doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.3765/sp