Milica Denić & Emmanuel Chemla & Lyn Tieu (2017). “Intervention effects in NPI licensing: a quantitative assessment of the scalar implicature explanation”.

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Abstract: This paper reports on five experiments about intervention effects in NPI licensing. Such intervention effects involve the unexpected ungrammaticality of sentences that contain an intervener, such as a universal quantifier, in between the NPI and its licensor. For example, the licensing of the NPI any in the sentence *Monkey didn't give every lion any chocolate is disrupted by intervention. Interveners also happen to be items that trigger scalar implicatures in environments in which NPIs are licensed (Chierchia 2004, 2013). A natural hypothesis, initially proposed in Chierchia (2004), is that there is a link between the two phenomena. In this paper, we investigate whether intervention effects arise when scalar implicatures are derived.

Keywords: intervention effects; negative polarity items; scalar implicature; experimental semantics