Some "PPIs" are just hyper-existentials

Francis Corblin
This paper shows that the French indefinite pronouns (quelqu'un, quelque chose) are neither PPIs (Baker 1970), nor double NPIs (Szabolcsi 2004). It claims that the scope restrictions involving negation and the impossibility to get a generic interpretation of these items, can only be explained by assuming that they have a strong vocation for existential readings, which can be seen as a qualified come-back to Russell's (1905) view. The paper establishes that this preference is a lexical property of the French determiner quelqu-.