According to the neogricean theory of cardinals an SN like “n N”, where n is a cardinal and N a noun, means “at least n N”. The meaning “exactly n N” is only conversationally conveyed. In this paper I show that the neogricean theory is false: on one hand the arguments usually advanced in its favor are much less strong than often thought; on the other hand there are positive reason to think that the meaning of “n N” is not “at least n N”. I support here the alternative view that the meaning of “n N” commits the speaker to the existence of n N, no more and no less. Nevertheless, “n N” is not pragmatically equivalent to “exactly n N” because “exactly” reduces the pragmatic halo of the SN and makes it unacceptable in a higher number of contexts.

Frigerio, A., Cardinalità e implicature scalari, <<ESERCIZI FILOSOFICI>>, 2011; 6 (Gennaio): 178-194 [http://hdl.handle.net/10807/10691]

Cardinalità e implicature scalari

Frigerio, Aldo
2011

Abstract

According to the neogricean theory of cardinals an SN like “n N”, where n is a cardinal and N a noun, means “at least n N”. The meaning “exactly n N” is only conversationally conveyed. In this paper I show that the neogricean theory is false: on one hand the arguments usually advanced in its favor are much less strong than often thought; on the other hand there are positive reason to think that the meaning of “n N” is not “at least n N”. I support here the alternative view that the meaning of “n N” commits the speaker to the existence of n N, no more and no less. Nevertheless, “n N” is not pragmatically equivalent to “exactly n N” because “exactly” reduces the pragmatic halo of the SN and makes it unacceptable in a higher number of contexts.
Italiano
Frigerio, A., Cardinalità e implicature scalari, <<ESERCIZI FILOSOFICI>>, 2011; 6 (Gennaio): 178-194 [http://hdl.handle.net/10807/10691]
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