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Pragmatic Aspects of Scalar ModifiersThe Semantics-Pragmatics Interface$
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Osamu Sawada

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198714224

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198714224.001.0001

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(p.223) 10 Conclusion
Pragmatic Aspects of Scalar Modifiers

Osamu Sawada

Oxford University Press

Chapter 10 summarizes the book’s analyses and proposal regarding (i) similarities and differences between semantic scalar modifiers and pragmatic scalar modifiers, (ii) variations in pragmatic scalar modifiers, (iii) interpretations of embedded pragmatic scalar modifiers, and (iv) the historical development of pragmatic scalar modifiers, and considers theoretical implications. The dual-use phenomenon of scalar modifiers and the interpretations of pragmatic scalar modifiers suggest that although there is a difference between at-issue and not-at-issue meanings, they have a flexible relationship. The chapter argues that both types of meanings must be captured in a unified or flexible fashion. This multidimensional approach is compared to other alternative approaches: the relevance-theoretic approach and Bach’s approach, which does not assume the notion of a CI. Finally, possible future directions for studies of pragmatic scalar modifiers and not-at-issue content are briefly considered.

Keywords:   semantic scalar modifier, pragmatic scalar modifier, not-at-issue meaning, at-issue meaning, relevance theory, conventional implicature (CI), multidimensional approach

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