Overt distributivity in algebraic event semantics
Lucas Champollion
June 2016

This is the second in a pair of papers that aim to provide a comprehensive analysis of the semantic phenomenon of distributivity in natural language. This paper describes and explains observable cross-linguistic differences in overt distributive items in the framework of Neo-Davidsonian algebraic event semantics. The previous paper, Champollion 2016 (at lingbuzz/002097), postulated two covert distributivity operators, D and Part, in the grammar, even though the semantic effects of D can be subsumed under the workings of Part. This paper motivates the split by arguing that distance-distributive items across languages are in essence overt versions of these operators. For example, English 'each' lexicalizes D while German 'jeweils' lexicalizes Part. For this reason, 'jeweils' occurs in a wider range of distributive environments, including distribution over salient occasions. The proposed analysis explains why distributive items that can also be used as determiners, such as 'each' and 'every', never allow distribution over occasions. It also accounts for the ability of these determiners to take part in cumulative readings and to interact with nondistributive event modifiers. The paper and its companion include an explicit proposal for the compositional process in event semantics.
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Reference: lingbuzz/002098
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Semantics & Pragmatics Volume 9, Article 16, 2016
keywords: distance-distributivity, crosslinguistic semantics, algebraic semantics, adnominal each, adverbial each, quantifier float, covers, semantics
previous versions: v6 [February 2016]
v5 [January 2016]
v4 [August 2015]
v3 [July 2015]
v2 [June 2014]
v1 [May 2014]
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