ESSLLI 2019: The only connectives
Konferences / 06.08.2019
Kai von Fintel
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
(Joint work with Sabine Iatridou, MIT)
We explore an understudied phenomenon, attested in many languages: the use of exclusives and exceptives as sentential coordinators. Some examples from English:
(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.
We evaluate 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!