NPI licensing in temporal clauses


Condoravdi, C. NPI licensing in temporal clauses. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory. 2010 November; 28 (4): 877-910.


This paper offers a systematic approach to NPI licensing in temporal clauses based on a uniform analysis of temporal connectives as relations between times and relying on appropriate type shifting for compositional build-up. The quantificational force commonly associated with temporal connectives is attributed to the operators earliest and max operating on the temporal clause and effecting the necessary type-lowering for a connective to compose with a clause. An implication about the truth of a temporal clause with any kind of temporal connective is a semantic presupposition due to a definedness condition associated with earliest and max. Based on Beaver & Condoravdi (2003, in progress), I show that veridical and nonveridical before induces a reversal in specificity ordering when combined with a temporal clause, and so does after when construed with max. I then show that the exceptional NPI licensing in until and since clauses is due to the fact that these clauses in composition with main clauses of a particular kind, containing upward entailing measure modifiers, result in propositions in the appropriate entailment relation. Crucial throughout is the more restricted, presupposition-dependent notion of entailment, Strawsonentailment, proposed by von Fintel (1999). The paper also relates Strawsonentailment to the alternative-based analysis of NPIs by Krifka (1995), proposing a particular kind of contextual update, Strawson-update, for calculating informational strength.

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