This paper presents data on the German adverb überhaupt, and accounts for its semantics and distribution in terms of domain widening licensed by semantic strengthening. It is argued that überhaupt removes contextual restrictions. A comparison is drawn to the English NPI any, which has been argued to be semantically complex, consisting of an existential indefinite with a widened domain restriction. The present paper argues that, while this complexity is morphologically hidden in English, it is transparent in German, in that überhaupt contributes domain widening. Since überhaupt does not contribute existential force, it is free to occur in a variety of different environments. It is shown how the strengthening/widening accounts predict this distribution.
Proceedings of the 25th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Donald Baumer, David Montero, and Michael Scanlon
Table of contents