Thomas Brochhagen

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Natural languages exhibit properties that are difficult to explain from a purely functional perspective. One of these properties is the systematic lack of upper-bounds in the literal meaning of scalar expressions. This investigation addresses the development and selection of such semantics from a space of possible alternatives. To do so we put forward a(More)
This paper presents two experimental findings pertaining to the semantics and pragmatics of superlative modifiers (at least, at most). First, in a scenario with N objects of a given type, speakers consistently judge it true that there are ‘at least N’ and ‘at most N’ objects of that type. This supports the debated position that the ignorance conveyed by(More)
Two factors seem to play a major role in the cultural evolution of language. On the one hand, there is functional pressure towards efficient transfer of information. On the other hand, languages have to be learned repeatedly and will therefore show traces of systematic stochastic disturbances of the transmission of linguistic knowledge. While a lot of(More)
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