Who 'else' but Sarah?


This paper explores the semantics of else when it modifies a bare quantifier, as in someone else, or a wh-phrase, as in who else. I argue that else triggers the presupposition that there is a contextually salient witness, which is removed from the domain of the quantifier it modifies. I also show that the presupposition can be satisfied in multiple ways: from prior text, from non-linguistic discourse context, and, as in the title, through an exceptive phrase like but Sarah.

In Connectedness: Papers in Celebration of Sarah VanWagenen. UCLA Working Papers in Linguistics, 175–187