Ineffability and Unexhaustification

Patrick D. Elliott and Uli Sauerland

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Abstract. Maximize Presupposition seems to apply globally in some cases, but locally in others. Singh’s (2011) account resolves this tension, but makes crucial use of dynamic semantics. We observe that an alternative static account is possible based on the principle AVOID INEFFABILITY!. The principle licenses non-local application of maximize presupposition if and only if the structure is otherwise ineffable. After presenting our analysis, we move on to discuss cases where our account and Singh’s make different predictions. Focusing on inferences associated with wh-questions in Spanish, we argue that our static account makes the correct predictions, while Singh’s dynamic account does not.

Keywords: presupposition, implicature, dynamic semantics, Spanish, projection