University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics


Mingming Liu


The paper discusses two types of exclusive (dis)harmonies in Mandarin. Exclusive-(dis)harmony-A—only is compatible with few but not many, and exclusive-(dis)harmony-B—only is compatible with less than n but not more than n. We suggest Exclusive-(dis)harmony-A can be explained along the lines of Chen 2005. We further propose that Exclusive-disharmony-B can be ex- plained by Maximization failure (Fox 2007). But Maximization failure rules out Exclusive-harmony-B as well. We then propose to use a scalar presupposition of jiu/zhi/only to restrict the standard Rooth-style focus alternative set. This presupposition achieves two things: it captures the scalar meaning of only, and it allows maximization to work with less than n, by filtering out problematic alternatives.