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Another take on nonrestrictive adjectives


This thesis examines the compositional and information-structural properties of nonrestrictive adjectives, which are used not to identify referents but to provide additional information about them. By considering the interaction of nonrestrictive adjectives with non-intersective adjectives like other, I argue that some nonrestrictive adjectives must take scope over the DP they modify, following Potts (2005). I extend the analysis to account for nonrestrictively modified quantifier phrases, using an anaphoric semantics in line with recent approaches to nominal appositives (e.g. Nouwen 2014), whereby nonrestrictive modifiers are anaphoric to the entity they modify. Additionally, I document properties of nonrestrictive adjectives concerning their effect on discourse and their projection from embedding contexts. The data I present provide additional support for Esipova’s (2019) claim that nonrestrictive adjectives behave like the gender presuppositions of pronouns, and that they do not fit neatly into existing categories of not-at-issue meaning, such as standard presuppositions or conventional implicature.

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