Cross-linguistic variation in the meaning of quantifiers: Implications for pragmatic enrichment
Penka Stateva, Arthur Stepanov, Viviane DĂ©prez, Ludivine Dupuy, Anne Reboul
May 2019
 

One of the most studied scales in the literature on scalar implicatures is the quantifier scale. While the truth of "some" is entailed by the truth of "all", "some" is felicitous only when "all" is false. This opens the possibility that "some" would be felicitous if, e.g., almost all of the objects in the restriction of the quantifier have the property ascribed by the nuclear scope. This prediction from the standard theory of quantifier interpretation clashes with native speakers’ intuitions. In Experiment 1 we report a questionnaire study on the perception of quantifier meanings in English, French, German and Slovenian which points to a cross-linguistic variation with respect to the perception of numerical bounds of the existential quantifier. In Experiment 2, using a picture choice task, we further examine whether the numerical bound differences correlate with differences in pragmatic interpretations of the quantifier "some" in English and "quelques" in French and interpret the results as supporting our hypothesis that "some" and its cross-linguistic counterparts are subjected to different processes of pragmatic enrichment.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004439
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Frontiers in Psychology - Language Sciences 10, https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00957
keywords: quantifier, numerical bound, scalar implicature, r/i-implicature, m-implicature, semantics
previous versions: v2 [March 2019]
v1 [February 2019]
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