Presupposition projection from the scope of None: universal, existential, or both?

Jérémy Zehr, Cory Bill, Lyn Tieu, Jacopo Romoli, Florian Schwarz

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution


    The nature of presupposition projection from the scope of quantificational expressions, particularly negative ones, continues to be both theoretically and empirically controversial. We experimentally investigate the interpretation of sentences like None of the bears won the race, which could in principle be associated with three projection options, giving rise to: an existential reading, on which at least one of the bears participated and none won; a universal reading, on which all of the bears participated and none won; and a presuppositionless reading on which none of the bears both participated and won. We used a covered box task to investigate English-speaking adults’ and children’s interpretations of such sentences. The results from the adult participants provide empirical evidence for all three readings; the results from the child participants, however, reveal no evidence for the existential reading. We discuss our results in light of competing theoretical accounts, focusing on options for reconciling the theories with the experimental data from both adults and children.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 26th Semantics and Linguistic Theory Conference
    EditorsMary Moroney, Carol-Rose Little, Jacob Collard, Dan Burgdorf
    Number of pages21
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    EventSemantics and Linguistic Theory Conference (26th : 2016) - University of Texas, Austin, United States
    Duration: 12 May 201615 May 2016

    Publication series

    NameProceedings of SALT
    ISSN (Electronic)2163-5951


    ConferenceSemantics and Linguistic Theory Conference (26th : 2016)
    Abbreviated titleSALT 26
    Country/TerritoryUnited States


    • presupposition
    • presupposition projection
    • quantification
    • experimental pragmatics
    • covered box
    • truth value judgment task


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