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dc.contributor.advisorRamchand, Gillian
dc.contributor.authorMinor, Sergey
dc.date.accessioned2017-03-10T08:41:10Z
dc.date.available2017-03-10T08:41:10Z
dc.date.issued2017-03-23
dc.description.abstractThis thesis focuses on the semantics of distributivity, grammatical number, and cardinality predicates (i.e. numerals and quantity modifiers such as 'several'), and more generally on the way the concept of multiplicity is represented in the semantics of natural language. I argue that constructions involving so-called 'dependent plurals', i.e. plurals lacking numerals or quantity modifiers occurring in the scope of certain quantificational items such as 'all' and 'most', pose a challenge to the classical semantic framework that distinguishes between two sources of multiplicity: domain-level plurality and distributive quantification. Instead, I argue that dependent plural readings should be analysed as distinct both from cumulative readings and distributive readings, in the classical sense. I demonstrate how this can be accomplished in a semantic framework where expressions are evaluated relative to sets of assignments, or plural info states, as originally proposed by van den Berg (1990, 1994, 1996). The specific formal implementation that I propose, PCDRT*, is based on Brasoveanu’s (2007, 2008) Plural Compositional DRT, with a number of significant modifications. In this framework we are able to distinguish between two types of distributivity: weak distributivity across the assignments in a single plural info state and strong distributivity across multiple info states. I argue that both of these types of distributivity play a role in the semantics of natural language, accounting for the contrasting properties of ‘singular quantifiers’, such as 'each' and 'every', and ‘plural quantifiers’, such as 'all' and 'most'. The contrast between bare plurals and plurals involving cardinality modifiers, on the one hand, is captured in terms of the distinction between state-level and assignment- (or domain-) level plurality. I further argue that the proposed theory is able to handle a range of phenomena particularly problematic for previous approaches, including intervention effects in dependent plural constructions, long-distance dependent plurals, and the contrast between dependent and non-dependent bare plurals in English with respect to their scopal properties.en_US
dc.description.doctoraltypeph.d.en_US
dc.description.popularabstractThe main focus of this thesis is the concept of multiplicity, and its representation in the semantics of natural language. Human languages possess a variety of means to convey the notion of a multitude of objects being involved in a particular situation, e.g. number marking on nouns, numerals such as ‘three’ and ‘five’, quantificational items such as ‘each’ and ‘all’. The aim of the thesis is to develop a formal semantic framework to account for the interaction between these classes of linguistic items, based primarily on elicited and freely occurring data from English. The general picture that emerges from this investigation is that natural language semantics involves three distinct levels at which the notion of multiplicity can be represented. This approach allows us to explain the semantic contrast between singular quantifiers, e.g. 'each' and 'every', and plural quantifiers, e.g. 'all' and 'most', on the one hand, and between the plural number feature and numerals, on the other.en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10037/10529
dc.language.isoengen_US
dc.publisherUiT Norges arktiske universiteten_US
dc.publisherUiT The Arctic University of Norwayen_US
dc.rights.accessRightsopenAccessen_US
dc.subject.courseIDDOKTOR-001
dc.subjectVDP::Humanities: 000::Linguistics: 010::General linguistics and phonetics: 011en_US
dc.subjectVDP::Humaniora: 000::Språkvitenskapelige fag: 010::Allmenn språkvitenskap og fonetikk: 011en_US
dc.subjectVDP::Humanities: 000::Linguistics: 010::English language: 020en_US
dc.subjectVDP::Humaniora: 000::Språkvitenskapelige fag: 010::Engelsk språk: 020en_US
dc.subjectformal semanticsen_US
dc.subjectdistributivityen_US
dc.subjectpluralityen_US
dc.subjectdependent pluralsen_US
dc.subjectquantificationen_US
dc.subjectnumeralsen_US
dc.titleDependent Plurals and the Semantics of Distributivityen_US
dc.typeDoctoral thesisen_US
dc.typeDoktorgradsavhandlingen_US


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