This paper reports on an experimental study that investigates the availability of inverse scope to double-quantifier sentences in Russian. The relative contributions of quantifier configuration, word order, prosody and information structure to the availability of inverse scope are examined. A sentence-picture verification task, with auditory presentation of sentences, is used to examine the scope preferences of adult native Russian speakers. The results indicate that (i) Russian speakers exhibit a strong preference for the surface-scope readings of non-emotive sentences, with both canonical SVO and scrambled OVS word orders; (ii) contrastive prosody on the indefinite facilitates the inverse-scope reading for OVS but not SVO order; and (iii) the same effects of contrastive prosody obtain for sentences presented in isolation as for sentences presented with supporting context, suggesting that speakers recover information structure from prosody.
Proceedings of the 32nd West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Ulrike Steindl, Thomas Borer, Huilin Fang, Alfredo García Pardo, Peter Guekguezian, Brian Hsu, Charlie O'Hara, and Iris Chuoying Ouyang Table of contents
ISBN 978-1-57473-466-9 library binding
vii + 351 pages
publication date: 2015
published by Cascadilla Proceedings Project, Somerville, MA, USA