What do quantifier particles do?
Anna Szabolcsi
January 2015

Szabolcsi, Whang & Zu (2013) outline a program to investigate the compositional semantics of quantifier words. The interesting part of the project begins when we observe that in many languages (Japanese, Sinhala, Russian, Hungarian, ...) the “quantifier particles” also serve as connectives, additive and scalar particles, question markers, existential verbs, and so on, and set out to investigate whether and how the same interpretations that work well inside the quantifier words extend to those contexts. A good first approximation is to interpret the particles as disjunction and conjunction operators. But the multiple occurrence of the particles in coordination constructions and their co-occurrence with “or not” clauses in polar questions are not amenable to that treatment. The paper proposes an alternative semantics that preserves the original insight, but recasts the analyses of coordinations and questions in various respects.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/001857
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: please use Linguistics and Philosophy (DOI) 10.1007/s10988-015-9166-z
keywords: semantics, syntax
previous versions: v6 [August 2014]
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