Chow, Keng Ji and Michael Yoshitaka Erlewine, 2022. “Restrictions on the position of exh.”
Poster presented at SALT 32.

The grammatical approach to scalar implicatures (SI) posits a covert operator exh whose semantic contribution is similar to that of an exhaustive focus particle such as only (Fox 2007, Chierchia et al. 2012, a.o.). While its proponents have argued for the availability of exh in embedded positions, constraints on its precise placement are not well understood. In this work, we argue that certain “triggers” of SI in English — unstressed some, disjunction, and bare numerals — require an associated exh to be as low as possible above the trigger. This requirement is however lexicalized, as we show that other triggers such as stressed SOME allow for more delayed exhaustification.