Sentence (1) contains a universal quantifier every and an indefinite, existential quantifier a. Depending on which of these two elements takes scope over the other, we obtain two possible interpretations, as paraphrased unambiguously in (2).

The universal interpretation in (2a) is surface scope: the scopal relation between the universal quantifier every and the existential quantifier a matches the order and hierarchy in which they appear in (1). The interpretation in (2b) is reverse scope: the scopal relation is reversed between the sentence and the interpretive level.

Our point of departure is an interesting finding by Raffray and Pickering (2010), who demonstrated that people can be primed to derive particular scopal interpretations (see details below). In this squib, we emphasize that such priming results are useful either to characterize realistic layers...