At least and ignorance: A reply to Coppock & Brochhagen 2013

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Bernhard Schwarz


This commentary revisits Coppock & Brochhagen’s 2013 account of speaker ignorance inferences associated with at least. The general principle that Coppock & Brochhagen propose to derive inferences about the speaker’s information state, the Maxim of Interactive Sincerity, is shown to not fully derive the intended ignorance inferences. Amendments to Coppock & Brochhagen’s proposal are discussed, but an account of the relevant inferences in terms of Gricean quantity implicature, as proposed in Büring 2008 and subsequent work, emerges as more parsimonious.

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