Conventional Implicature and Classifiers

Year
2009
Volume 10
Issue 2
Pages
195-208
Authors
Eric McCready
Abstract
This paper considers the semantic contribution of classifiers in East Asian languages, drawing data primarily from Japanese. The focus is on the classifier itself, rather than the numeral-classifier combination discussed in the semantic literature. It is argued, based on tests involving projection, that the contribution of the classifier is a conventional implicature. An informal sketch of an implementation in the system of Potts (2005) is provided.

Keywords: conventional implicature, numeral classifiers,presupposition, mass/count nouns, levels of meaning