Varieties of Hurford disjunctions

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Paul Marty
Jacopo Romoli

Abstract

Hurford 1974 famously observed that a disjunction is generally infelicitous if one of the disjuncts entails the other. Several accounts of Hurford’s observation have been put forward in the literature, grounding the infelicity of the so-called “Hurford disjunctions” into various principles of language use. In this article, we investigate three variants of Hurford’s original cases and we show that none of the major explanatory approaches to “Hurford disjunctions” captures all at once Hurford’s original cases and our novel variants. We discuss the challenges raised by our data for existing approaches to informational oddness and, more broadly, for the descriptive generalization originally proposed by Hurford.

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Squibs, Remarks, and Replies