Edited by Janine Berns, Haike Jacobs and Tobias Scheer
[Romance Languages and Linguistic Theory 3] 2011
► pp. 223–238
This paper examines the semantic properties of evaluative adverbs, such as unfortunately, in question environments in French. We take Bonami and Godard’s (2008) analysis for malheureusement (‘unfortunately’) in declarative sentences, where such propositional adverbs are analyzed as ancillary commitments, and extend it to a broader array of data, including polar and wh-questions. In a nutshell, we argue that malheureusement can take as input a set of propositions, which triggers an indifference interpretation of the sort that characterizes unconditional sentences. We also show that evaluatives may take a proposition as argument when they occur in polar questions, the only restriction occurring in negative polar questions, where biases are decisive in making the sentence acceptable.
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