Natural Language Semantics

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 257–321 | Cite as

Presuppositional and negative islands: a semantic account

  • Márta Abrusán


This paper proposes a new explanation for the oddness of presuppositional and negative islands, as well as the puzzling observation that these islands can be obviated by certain quantificational elements. The proposal rests on two independently motivated assumptions: (i) the idea that the domain of manners contains contraries and (ii) the notion that degree expressions range over intervals. It is argued that, given these natural assumptions, presuppositional and negative islands are predicted to lead to a presupposition failure in any context.


Weak islands Negative islands Presuppositional islands Interval-based semantics for degrees Contradiction 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Somerville CollegeUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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