Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft Leibniz-Gemeinschaft

Semantics Circle: Everyone except possibly Ann

Vortragende(r) Clemens Mayr and Ekaterina Vostrikova
Institution(en) Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Datum 26.01.2023, 12:30
Uhrzeit 12:30 Uhr
Ort ZAS seminar room 403 and Zoom (see link below)


This paper deals with the interaction of modals and exceptives, as in (1). The meaning of (1) has three components, familiar from the literature on exceptives, with possibly only modifying the exception component (Moltmann 1995, García Alvárez 2008): (i) Quantification: Every student who is not Ann passed; (ii) Containment: Ann is a student; (iii) Exception: It is possible that Ann did not pass.

(1) Every student passed except, possibly, Ann.

Two kinds of syntactic analyses have been entertained for exceptives: (i) a phrasal one (von Fintel 1993, 1994, Hirsch 2016, Crnič 2021) and a clausal one (Vostrikova 2021). Vostrikova (2021) argues that possibly only occurs with clausal exceptives. Here we ar- gue that at least cases like (2) using a collective predicate call for a different approach. We propose a novel analysis based on the idea of exception as set subtraction (Hoeksema 1983, von Fintel 1994) with exhaustification (Gajewski 2013, Hirsch 2016, Crnič 2021), where the modal nevertheless takes a propositional argument. The idea in a nutshell is that (2) is to be analyzed as the conjunction of All the students minus Ann gathered and Possibly Exh [ all the students minus Ann gathered ].

(2) All the students gathered except, possibly, Ann.

Zoom-Link for online participationhttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/8440941017 (with entrance control)