Forests and Trees: the Formal Semantics of Collective Categorization (ROCKY)


11 June 2019
15:15 - 17:00
Drift 25 – room 105

Exclusives and exceptives as sentential coordinators (or: Only, there’s  another *only*) by Kai von Fintel

Exclusives and exceptives as sentential coordinators (or: Only, there’s
another *only*) by Kai von Fintel (11 June 2019)

Speaker: Kai von Fintel (MIT)
Room:   Drift 25 – room 105
Date:     Tuesday 11 June
Time:    15.15-17.00

We present work in progress on an understudied phenomenon: the use of
exclusive and exceptives as sentential coordinators. Some examples from

(1) He is a very nice man, only he talks too much.
(2) I would have helped you, except I had a meeting at work.

Constructions of this kind are attested in several languages.

We explore importing results from the study of adversative coordinators
such as English *but*, French *mais*, German *aber*. Questions arise
about the relation between the occurrences in (1) and (2) and ordinary
uses of exclusives and exceptives as in (3) and (4):

(3) Heather only had one shot on goal.
(4) Every student passed the test except Gordon.

Among other things, we discuss what happens to the focus-sensitivity and
the presuppositional asymmetry of ordinary exclusives when they are used
as coordinators. Finally, we turn to cases where these coordinators
apply to non-declarative illocutionary forces:

(5) I’m happy to go to Oleana’s for dinner, only where is it?
(6) I hope you enjoy your weekend, except please fix the drain!

Since this is work in progress with Sabine Iatridou (MIT), we especially
welcome any and all questions, comments, criticism, and advice.