Ten men and women got married today
Lucas Champollion
June 2015

The word "and" can be used both intersectively, as in "John lies and cheats", and collectively, as in "John and Mary met". Research has tried to determine which one of these two meanings is basic. Focusing on coordination of nouns ("liar and cheat"), this paper argues that the basic meaning of "and" is intersective. This theory has been successfully applied to coordination of other kinds of constituents (Partee and Rooth, 1983; Winter, 2001). Certain cases of collective coordination ("cat and dog", "men and women") are considered a challenge for this view, and for this reason the collective theory has been argued to be superior (Heycock and Zamparelli, 2005). The main result of this paper is that the intersective theory actually predicts the collective behavior of "and" in these cases, due to the way it interacts with certain silent operators involving set minimization and choice functions. These operators are believed to be present in the grammar on the basis of phenomena involving indefinites and collective predicates, and they have been argued to cause collective interpretations in coordinations of noun phrases (Winter, 2001). This paper also shows that the collective theory does not generalize to coordinations of noun phrases in the way it was suggested by its proponents.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/002025
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Journal of Semantics vol. 33 issue 3 (2016), p. 561-622: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jos/ffv008 First published online July 31, 2015.
keywords: coordination, plurals, collectivity, distributivity, choice functions, numerals, type shifting, boolean semantics, hydras, semantics
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