This paper presents a formal semantic analysis of the Catalan interjection 'Déu n'hi do' (DND, henceforth) and its interactions with exclamative sentences. The analysis of DND in a nutshell is that (1) it has the lexical meaning of weakening and not of intensification, contrary to the previous approaches in the literature, and that (2) it changes the semantic type of the exclamative sentence it precedes, turning a set of propositions into a proposition. Since DND exclamatives can syntactically embed in more contexts than bare-exclamatives, they provide evidence that part of the meaning of exclamatives is conveyed through a conventional implicature (CI). Finally, the syntactic distribution and semantic behavior of DND-clauses in embedded contexts can be explained by the interaction between the asserted and the CI meaning.
Proceedings of the 26th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Charles B. Chang and Hannah J. Haynie
Table of contents