• Corpus ID: 14247579


  author={Maria Aloni},
This article proposes a new analysis of modal expressions which (i) explains the difference between necessity and possibility modals with respect to the licensing of Free Choice any and (ii) accounts for the related phenomena of Free Choice disjunction in permissions and other possibility statements. Any and or are analyzed as operators introducing sets of alternative propositions. Modals are treated as quantifiers over these sets of alternatives. In this way they can be sensitive to the… 

Free choice, modals, and imperatives

The article proposes an analysis of imperatives and possibility and necessity statements that (i) explains their differences with respect to the licensing of free choice any and (ii) accounts for the


The goal of this article is to explain the distribution and meaning of qualsiasi/qualunque in the examples in (1). Universal FC items will be analysed as indefinites (contra Dayal, 1998). Following

Free choice and distribution over disjunction: the case of free choice ability

This squib discusses the semantics of ability modals in relation to the law of distribution over disjunction and free choice effects. Most current analyses of free choice need distribution over

Negative free choice

Free Choice (FC) is an inference arising from the interaction between existential modals and disjunction. Schematically, a sentence of the form permitted(A or B) gives rise to the inference ◊ A ∧◊ B

On universal Free Choice items

This paper deals with the interpretation and distribution of universal Free Choice (FC) items, such as English FC any or Spanish cualquiera. Crosslinguistically, universal FC items can be

Free choice in and out of context: semantics and distribution of French, Greek and English Free Choice Items

Free Choice Items (FCIs), such as French n’importe qui, Greek opjosdhipote and English anyone, are well known for their limited distributional properties. Most former analyses have been influenced by

Logic, Language, and Computation

The article presents a formal analysis in the framework of bi-directional optimality theory of the free choice, ignorance and indifference implicatures conveyed by the use of indefinite expressions

Alternative Semantics

This chapter presents the semantics and pragmatics of prosodic focus in alternative semantics. Half a dozen examples are given of empirical phenomena that are to be covered by the theory. Then a

The semantics of weak imperatives revisited: Evidence from free-choice item licensing

Abstract This paper provides a new analysis for the semantics and pragmatics of weak (permission/acquiescence) imperatives. In a significant modification to the To-Do-List (or minimal semantics – s...

Residue of Universality

A classical issue in the grammar of NPIs is whether they are existentials interpreted under the scope of negation or universals interpreted outside the scope of negation. This paper contributes to



Free Choice Disjunction and Epistemic Possibility

This paper offers an explanation of the fact that sentences of the form (1) ‘X may A or B’ may be construed as implying (2) ‘X may A and X may B’, especially if they are used to grant permission. It

Any as Inherently Modal

It is argued that FC any is not directly licensed by modal or generic operators as generally assumed but that its felicitous use is sensitive to the pragmatics of epistemic modality.

The Meaning of Free Choice

This paper discusses the distribution and interpretation of free choice items (FCIs) in Greek, a language exhibiting a lexical paradigm of such items distinct from that of negative polarity items, and argues that FCIs are not universal quantifiers but indefinites.

On choice-offering imperatives

An analysis of modal expressions is extended to imperatives to allow a unified account of the phenomena in (1)-(4) and this article will start by presenting the ‘alternative’ analysis for indefinites and disjunction.

Meaning and Use of Indefinite Expressions

  • P. Dekker
  • Philosophy, Linguistics
    J. Log. Lang. Inf.
  • 2002
This paper addresses the question what is the linguistic content of pronouns and indefinite noun phrases, what information they can be said to provide to aarer, and in what sense the information of a speaker can beSaid to support their utterance.

What ‘must’ and ‘can’ must and can mean

This paper argues for a relative concept of modality underlying modal words like ‘must’ and ‘can’ in natural language and gives preliminary definitions of the meaning of these words which are formulated in terms of logical consequence and compatibility, respectively.

Varieties of Indefinites

Languages that have determiners often have a rich inventory of them. In English, indefinite determiners include a(n), some, a certain, this, one, another, cardinals, partitives , the zero determiner

Predicate ogic with arriers and its locality effects

PLB is shown to match up with a range of locality effects found in natural language, including binding (condition A, B and C) effects, constraints on different types of movement, and strong crossover violations.

The dynamics of questions and focus

A dynamic account of Questions and focus is presented which combines the logical appeal of the partition theory of questions with the empirical strength of the structured meaning account of questions and focus to provide an account of the dependence of focused answers on the context set up by their preceding questions.