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Bookmark and Share Paper 1662

The Least at least Can Do
Daniel Büring
114-120 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This paper defends a new meaning for 'at least n,' roughly 'exactly n or more than n.' The proposed interpretation—while truth conditionally equivalent to the plain numeral 'n'—accounts for the implicatures found in sentences with 'at least,' completely on a par with disjunction. In particular, it is shown how an otherwise elusive ambiguity 'at least' creates when combined with a universal modal can be traced to the syntactic scope of 'at least' in combination with the assumption that 'at least' triggers a local implicature—again just like 'or'—when embedded under a universal modal.

Published in

Proceedings of the 26th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Charles B. Chang and Hannah J. Haynie
Table of contents
Printed edition: $375.00