Already, just scalarity
Hanzhi Zhu, MIT
The particles still and already are commonly thought of and analyzed as particles that mirror the other (Löbner 1989, Krifka 2000, Ippolito 2007, inter alia). The particle still has been robustly argued to have an additive presupposition in the same vein as particles like too. However, I argue that a dual semantics for already, as all previous accounts attempt to implement, is untenable, motivated by asymmetries between the two particles such as in the following pair of examples:
(1) You wake up after a full night of sleep, estimating that it's 9am. You check your clock.
#Wow, it's still 7am!
(2) You wake up after a full night of sleep, estimating that it's 7am. You check your clock.
Wow, it's already 9am!
Instead, I propose that already has no additive presupposition but instead an even-style scalar 'likelihood' presupposition enriched with an exhaustivity operator. Such an analysis offers empirical improvements over previous analyses, notably in its ability to directly capture the earlier-than-expected inference conveyed by already.