In this talk I will look at the following paradigm:
- Mary read some book or other that was on the reading list.
- Mary read whatever/whichever book was on the reading list.
- Mary read any book that was on the reading list.
All of the above involve some kind of epistemic uncertainty on the part of the speaker, as shown by the unacceptability of a follow up like It was ‘My Own Country’ (and…). They need to be differentiated along the lines of quantificational force as well as level of uncertainty. Some N or other does not have maximality entailments (not every book on the reading list need be read by Mary), while the other two do. Some N or other and ever-Free Relatives are compatible with identity-alternatives (the set of entities can be contextually fixed but their identity unknown), but subtrigged any requires a higher level of uncertainty (the set itself must not be known). These distinctions are discussed within the framework of polarity items in Chierchia (2013) but they have implications for any theory of polarity.