Chemla, Emmanuel and Benjamin Spector. (2009). “Experimental evidence for embedded scalar implicatures”. Manuscript, IJN & LSCP.

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Abstract: Scalar implicatures are traditionally viewed, following Grice's seminal work, as pragmatic inferences which result from a reasoning about speakers' communicative intentions. This view has nevertheless been disputed in recent years, and an alternative view has emerged, according to which the computation of scalar implicatures is a grammatical phenomenon. One important argument for this grammatical approach is the claim that scalar implicatures can be computed in embedded positions and enter into the recursive computation of meaning---something that is not expected under the traditional, pragmatic view. Recently, Geurts and Pouscoulous (2009) presented an experimental study in which embedded scalar implicatures were not detected. We present two experiments in which embedded scalar implicatures were detected, thanks to a novel elaboration on the standard truth-value judgment task.

Keywords: scalar implicatures; localism; globalism; experiment.