Field of Science

Summa smack-down

(live-blogging Xprag)

Dueling papers this morning on the word "summa" as compared with "some of." Judith Degen presented data suggesting "summa the cookies" is more likely to be strengthened to "some but not all" than is "some of the cookies." Huang followed with data demonstrating that there is no such difference. Everybody seems to agree this has something to do with the way the two studies were designed, but not on which way is better.

I am more convinced by Huang's study, but as she is (1) a lab-mate, (2) a friend, and (3) sitting next to me as I write this, I'm probably not a neutral judge.

1 comment:

judith said...

Actually, that's not what my data shows - the difference we found was between "summa the cookies" and "some cookies", where the former gives rise to more implicatures. We did not test "some of the" vs "summa the" in this study.