∃-closure and alternatives
Simon Charlow
October 2019
 

This remark considers the interaction of Alternative Semantics (AS) with various binding operations -- centrally, Predicate Abstraction and ∃-closure; less centrally, intensionalization. Contra Griffiths's (2019, Beyond MaxElide, Linguistic Inquiry 50(3)) theory of ellipsis, I argue that it is technically problematic to appeal to the inherent incompatibility of Predicate Abstraction and AS, while assuming the compatibility of ∃-closure and AS. I show that the formal pressures which characterize the interaction of Predicate Abstraction and alternatives apply equally to ∃-closure and alternatives, and that it is impossible to define a true ∃-closure operation within what might be termed ‘standard’ AS. A well-behaved AS reflex of ∃-closure can only be defined in compositional settings where a well-behaved AS reflex of Predicate Abstraction is definable too. I consider various technical and empirical consequences of these points for Griffiths’s theory of ellipsis, and for linguistic theory more generally.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004804
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Linguistic Inquiry, https://doi.org/10.1162/ling_a_00367
keywords: alternatives, ellipsis, intervention, maxelide, binding, focus, semantics, syntax
previous versions: v1 [September 2019]
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