Numeral Semantics
Lisa Bylinina, Rick Nouwen
April 2020

Words for numbers, numerals, are a special lexical class, half-way be- tween natural and mathematical language. One would expect them to have a relatively straightforward semantics. However, during the last several decades, numerals proved to be a rich source of debate in linguistics, especially in semantics and pragmatics. The reason is that the study of numerals requires taking into account core issues such as plurality, quantification, implicature/exhaustivity, degree, modality, imprecision and cross-linguistic variation. In this article, we provide a thorough introduction to the issues connected to numeral semantics and pragmatics. We gradually develop analyses of meanings of nu- merals in natural language using a multitude of analytical tools. We evaluate the competing proposals in terms of empirical coverage and predictions.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/005157
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: accepted for publication in Language and Linguistic Compass
keywords: numerals, quantification, plurality, types, semantics
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