Economy of structure and information: Oddness, questions, and answers

Roni Katzir, Raj Singh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


We examine two conflicting perspectives on oddness: Magri (2009, 2011)’s theory, which derives oddness from blind inferences that clash with common knowledge, and Spector (2014)’s theory that derives oddness from trivial alternatives. Building on these works, we offer a third alternative, one that relies on a discourse condition that says that a good assertion is one that provides a good answer to a good question. A remaining difficulty is the persistence of oddness when the relevant sentences are embedded in environments that are predicted to satisfy the proposed appropriateness conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of sinn und bedeutung 19
Subtitle of host publication[Georg-August-Universitat Gottingen on September 15th-17th, 2014]
EditorsEva Csipak, Hedde Zeijlstra
PublisherGeorg August Universit at Gottingen
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 2015


  • Hurford’s constraint
  • Questions
  • Oddness
  • Scalar implicature
  • Exhaustivity
  • Redundancy
  • Economy
  • Presuppositions


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