Negation

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Anonymous

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Dear Sirs,

I'm writing to seek your advice for the following:--

Are there as many interpretations as possible of what the speaker is negating in the following sentence? I'm using the contrastive stress symbol \ after the stressed word so as to show how these interpretations are obtained. Could you please see whether these interpretations are OK? Or any more interpretations I'm missing? Thank you.

The sentence is:
95% of the universe is really missing.

The interpretations I've given
a)95% of the universe is really missing\.
Scope: missing
Presupposition: Most people know that 95% of the universe is really missing but you do not know.

b)95% of the universe is really \ missing.
Scope: really
Presupposition:
-- It is not a fact that 95% of the universe is missing.
-- It is beyond doubt that 95% of the universe is missing.

c)95% of the universe \ is really missing.
Scope: 95% of the universe
Presupposition: only 5% of the universe is not missing.

I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks again!

Edmond
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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a) This is one interpretation. It could also be that I know and everybody else doesn't (professor giving lecture)

b) Could be corrected someone's ignorance

c) Could be, but isn't after the number an equally, if not more, likely place for the stress? ;-)
 
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