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Formal Description of Slavic Languages: The Ninth Conference

Proceedings of FDSL 9, Göttingen 2011

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Uwe Junghanns, Dorothee Fehrmann, Denisa Lenertová and Hagen Pitsch

This volume contains a selection of thoroughly revised contributions to the 9th European Conference on Formal Description of Slavic Languages. The authors apply recent formal models in linguistics to issues concerning the lexicon, morphology, syntax, semantics, information structure, and phonology in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Bulgarian, Czech, Polish, Russian, and Slovenian. Topics of the papers include aspect and tense, axial expressions, case, control, copula, ditransitives, focus particles, indefiniteness, infinitives, nominal phrases, numerals, temporal adverbials, trochaic lengthening, and verb stems. The papers aim at proposing both descriptively accurate and explanatorily adequate analyses, considering all linguistic levels and interfaces. Due to its analytical scope and the broad spectrum of languages covered, the volume reflects the state of the art in current formal Slavic linguistics.

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Barbara Tomaszewicz: Aż/čak – the Scalar Opposite of Scalar only

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AŜ/čak – the Scalar Opposite of Scalar only* Barbara Tomaszewicz University of Southern California Abstract I propose an analysis of the particles aŜ (až), found in Polish, Czech, Slovak and Russian, and čak in Bulgarian, Serbian and other South Slavic languages as focus sensitive adverbs with the meaning contribution of the scalar opposite of scalar only/merely. I argue that aŜ and čak are focus associating propositional operators like only and even. They impose a scalar ordering on the focus alternatives according to a contextually salient dimension. I analyze the semantic contribution of aŜ/čak in terms of three components, such that each is a scalar reversal of the corresponding component of scalar only. Thus, aŜ/čak (i) assert the exclusion of lower alternatives, (ii) presuppose that among the alternatives at most the prejacent holds, and (iii) presuppose that the prejacent is significantly high on the contextual scale. 1 AŜ/čak – scalar interpretation The sentences in (2) and (3), as opposed to (1), carry an implication about the position of the manager on the scale of people who are relevant in the context for Maria to talk to. In (2) the manager is low on the scale – the Polish adverb zaledwie is a counterpart of the English merely. In (3) due to the addition of aŜ the manager is interpreted as high on the scale. (1) Maria rozmawiała z menedŜerem. (Po) Maria talked with manager ‘Maria talked to the manager.’ (2) Maria rozmawiała zaledwie...

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