Adam and alums in Glossa
Fresh in Glossa, "Grammaticalized number, implicated presuppositions, and the plural" from Adam Liter with Tess Huelskamp, 2017 alum Chris Heffner, and 1996 alum Cristina Schmitt. The paper concerns two different interpretations of plural morphology, exhibited for example in downward entailing contexts. In languages like English, the plural in such contexts receives a one-or-more (inclusive) interpretation, and is in this way semantically unmarked. But in languages like Korean, the plural is semantically marked, in always receiving a more-than-one (exclusive) interpretation, regardless of context. Using an artificial language learning paradigm, the paper asks two questions about such patterns. First, should semantic markedness of the plural be linked to the non-grammaticalization of the number paradigm? Second, does semantic markedness follow from insufficient statistical evidence for simplifying the lexical entry for the plural? Its results show that participants continue to assign an exclusive interpretation to plural morphology under the scope of negation, which is compatible with the hypothesis that non-grammaticalized number entails semantic markedness.