Publication details [#66943]

Apresjan, Valentina. 2019. Pragmatics in the interpretation of scope ambiguities. Intercultural Pragmatics 16 (4) : 421–462.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
De Gruyter


This article presents a corpus study of pragmatic factors involved in interpreting potentially ambiguous sentences with negation and universal quantifiers, as demonstrated by the Russian sentence Oni ne uspejut vsjo eto sdelat’ ‘They won’t have time to do all this.’ Ambiguity in such sentences results from potential differences in scope assignment. If negation scopes over the quantifier, we get the interpretation of partial negation: ‘They will manage to do some of these things, but not everything.’ If negation scopes over the verb, we get total negation: ‘They won’t manage to do anything.’