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An Interdisciplinary Journal of the Language Sciences

Editor-in-Chief: Gast, Volker

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 1.066

CiteScore 2018: 0.97

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.384
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Volume 48, Issue 3


Entailment, assertion, and textual coherence: the case of almost and barely

Patrícia Amaral
Published Online: 2010-06-17 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ling.2010.016


This article contributes to the study of approximative adverbs almost and barely by providing psycholinguistic evidence for the asymmetry of their meaning components. The experiments reported are discussed against the background of a set of tests targeting the theoretical status of the meaning components. The first experiment addresses the role played by each meaning component in textual coherence, whereas the second experiment addresses the interpretation in isolation of a sentence containing an approximative adverb. The results argue for a pragmatic difference in the role of the meaning components, along the lines of Horn's (Assertoric inertia and NPI licensing: 55–82, 2002) proposal, pertaining to the way in which the implications of approximative adverbs contribute to context update.

About the article

Correspondence address: School of Languages, Cultures and Area Studies, University of Liverpool, Cypress Building, Chatham Street, Liverpool L69 7ZR, United Kingdom. E-mail:

Received: 2007-08-28

Revised: 2008-10-02

Published Online: 2010-06-17

Published in Print: 2010-05-01

Citation Information: Linguistics, Volume 48, Issue 3, Pages 525–545, ISSN (Online) 1613-396X, ISSN (Print) 0024-3949, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ling.2010.016.

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