Doris Penka

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1. Introduction Some imperatives pattern with universal modality and some with existential modality. This paper addresses the question whether imperatives contain a covert modal operator. It concludes that the German particles 1 ruhig, bloß and JA provide evidence in favor of a covert modal operator and argues that their distribution can be modeled on a par(More)
This article examines idiomatic expressions as sources of both regularity and irregularity in language. Some morphological, lexical, syntactical, and semantical characteristics of idioms are discussed. It is shown how a lexical licensing mechanism, which is formulated within a formal grammar framework, can deal with the data. After that, this proposal is(More)
There has been much debate recently about the meaning of superlative modifiers like at least and at most. The main challenge analyses of superlative modifiers face is accounting for the ignorance implication they give rise to, whereby the speaker holds higher (in at least) or lower (in at most) numbers as possible. In this study, we present results from two(More)
Superlative modifiers like at least and at most pose several challenges to formal semantic and pragmatic analyses. A particular challenge is accounting for the ignorance inferences they give rise to, and whether to attribute these inferences to the lexical semantics, the semantic combinatorics, pragmatic implicature, or the interaction thereof. We conducted(More)
Recent pragmatic accounts derive the ignorance inferences to which superlative modifiers give rise as quantity implicatures in a neo-Gricean framework. While these approaches successfully account for the interaction of at least with modals, the behavior of at most remains a puzzle. I propose that at most is composed of an antonymizing operator and at least(More)
In certain environments, negation does not anti-license Positive Polarity Items in English and can precede definite noun phrases in German. Instances of negation with these characteristics are labeled 'high' negation. There are two environments where high negation –as opposed to regular, 'low' negation– has been argued to correlate with an additional(More)
The Alemannic dialects spoken in Switzerland and in SouthWestern Germany are structurally very similar. This seems to extend to the motion verb construction where the motion verb is obligatorily followed by an element gil go proceding the infinitive. Upon closer inspection, however, intriguing asymmetries emerge. We account for these differences by treating(More)