Springer Science & Business Media, Apr 30, 1996 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 211 pages
Pluralities begins with a concise introduction to recent theories of the semantics of plurals. The author argues, contrary to many of those theories, that plural discourse involves entities corresponding to sets of individuals but nothing corresponding to higher order sets. In the course of the book, the reader will become acquainted with the linguistics data that lies at the heart of this debate including extensive discussion of reciprocals and of collectives (such as the committee). In addition, a unique account of distributivity is proposed in which collective/distributive ambiguities are analyzed in pragmatic terms. The account capitalizes on the idea that the universe may be partitioned differently at different points in a discourse.
Pluralities should be accessible to those with an introductory level background in model-theoretic semantics.
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ambiguity analysis anaphora animacy argue argument assigned assume awoke early boys chapter Closure Phenomenon collective noun phrases collective reading committee conjoined consider context coreference cows cumulativity D-operator denote bunches denote pluralities denotes a set discussion distinction distributive reading domain of discourse domain of quantification EachOther entails entities fact floated quantifiers girls grammar greatest element Hoeksema individual noun phrases interpretation intuition John and Mary Landman Lasersohn linguistic meaning postulate moved the car noun phrases denote old animals operative subpluralities pairs partition plural individual noun plural noun phrases plural predicates Plural Quantification plurality denoting PPart operator pragmatic predicate of English pronoun Ray and Tess reference relation rule salient Sauerland Scha semantics sentence set containing set of sets sets approach sets theory singleton sets singular collective subset syntactic translation true truth conditions union approach union theory universal quantifier verb phrase young animals