The Dennes Room

Event Detail

Thu Nov 14, 2019
234 Moses Hall, 12:30–2 PM
Meaning Sciences Club
Virginia Dawson (UC Berkeley)
Disjunction is not Boolean: novel evidence from Tiwa

I provide novel cross-linguistic evidence that disjunction in natural language is not the Boolean join, but is better modeled as alternative-denoting (e.g. Simons 2005, Alonso-Ovalle 2006, Aloni 2007). This evidence comes from narrow scope disjunction in Tiwa (Tibeto-Burman; India): while its obligatory narrow scope initially suggests a Boolean analysis is appropriate, a Boolean approach cannot handle scopal restrictions on disjunctions of individuals, which do not behave as GQs as required on a Boolean account. I provide an alternatives-based analysis, and discuss implications for theories of (exceptional) scope (e.g. Charlow 2014, to appear): alternatives and scopal flexibility do not always go together.