Something Out of Nothing: the Semantics and Pragmatics of Implicit Quantification

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Abstract

Some sentences contain no overt quantifier, yet are interpreted quantificationally, e.g., Plumbers are available (entailing that some plumbers are available), or Plumbers are intelligent (whose entailment is less clear, but seems to be saying that a large number of plumbers are intelligent). Where does the quantifier come from? In this book, Ariel Cohen makes the novel proposal that the quantifier is not simply an empty category, but is generated by reinterpretations mechanisms, which are governed by well specified principles. He demonstrates how the puzzling and sometimes mysterious properties of such sentences can be naturally derived from the reinterpretation mechanisms that generate them. The resulting picture has substantial implications that language contains hidden elements, underlying its surface structure.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherBrill Rodopi
Number of pages182
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020

Publication series

NameCurrent Research in the Semantics/Pragmatics Interface
Volume38
ISSN (Print)1472-7870

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