A Scalar implicature-based approach to neg-raising

Jacopo Romoli

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18 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, I give an analysis of neg-raising inferences as scalar implicatures. The main motivation for this account as opposed to a presupposition-based approach like Gajewski (Linguist Philos 30(3):289-328, 2007) comes from the differences between presuppositions and neg-raising inferences. In response to this issue, Gajewski (2007) argues that neg-raising predicates are soft presuppositional triggers and adopts the account of how their presuppositions arise by Abusch (J Semantics 27(1):1-44, 2010). However, I argue that there is a difference between soft triggers and neg-raising predicates in their behavior in embeddings; a difference that is straightforwardly accounted for in the present approach. Furthermore, by adopting Abusch's (2010) account of soft triggers, Gajewski (2007) inherits the assumptions of a pragmatic principle of disjunctive closure and of a non-standard interaction between semantics and pragmatics-assumptions that are not needed by the present proposal, which is just based on a regular theory of scalar implicatures. I also show that the arguments that Gajewski (2007) presents in favor of the presuppositional account can be explained also by the scalar implicatures-based approach proposed here. Finally, while the main point of the paper is a comparison with the presuppositional account, I sketch a preliminary comparison with more syntactic approaches to neg-raising.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-353
Number of pages63
JournalLinguistics and Philosophy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Alternatives
  • Neg-raising
  • Presuppositions
  • Scalar implicatures

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