New, Keely and Michael Yoshitaka Erlewine, 2018.
“The expression of exhaustivity and scalarity in Burmese.”
Proceedings of SALT 28, pages 271–288.
The Burmese particle hma expresses exhaustivity in some contexts but a scalar, even-like meaning in other contexts. We detail the distribution of these uses of hma and develop a unied semantics. We propose that hma is a not-at-issue scalar exhaustive, with semantics similar to that proposed for English it-clefts in Velleman, Beaver, Destruel, Bumford, Onea & Coppock 2012. When hma takes wide scope, it leads to an exhaustive, cleft interpretation which is not scale-sensitive. When hma takes scope under negation, the resulting meaning will have a scale-sensitive felicity condition. We also discuss the semantics of the sentence-final mood marker dar, which we propose is a marker of propositional clefts (Sheil 2016), and its apparent role in the determination of the scope of hma.