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Slavic Grammar from a Formal Perspective

The 10th Anniversary FDSL Conference, Leipzig 2013

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Edited By Gerhild Zybatow, Petr Biskup, Marcel Guhl, Claudia Hurtig, Olav Mueller-Reichau and Maria Yastrebova

The proceedings of the 10 th European Conference on Formal Description of Slavic Languages in Leipzig 2013 offer current formal investigations into Slavic morphology, phonology, semantics, syntax and information structure. In addition to papers of the main conference, the volume presents those of two special workshops: «Formal Perspectives and Diachronic Change in Slavic Languages» and «Various Aspects of Heritage Language». The following languages are addressed: Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (BCS), Bulgarian, Czech, Macedonian, Old Church Slavonic, Polish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Resian, Slovak and Slovene.
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Focused epistemic adverbs and scalar implicatures

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← 42 | 43 →Petr Biskup

Universität Leipzig

This paper shows that, in contrast to the common view, epistemic adverbs can occur in the sentence-final position and be accented there and focused. It is argued that it is possible only if the appropriate adverb is the semantically strongest member of the set of focus alternatives, that is, when the asserted proposition entails all its true alternatives. This is required by the proposed Strongest Assertion Constraint, which works together with the covert exhaustivity operator in the derivation.

It has been shown that sentence adverbs like epistemics cannot occur in the sentence-final position (unless they are separated by a comma intonation); see Jackendoff (1972) for English, Belletti (1990) for French, Alexiadou (1997) for Greek, Cinque (1999) for Italian:

(1)

a.

* Horatio has lost his mind evidently/probably.

(Jackendoff 1972, 50)

b.

* Jean partira probablement.

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