A representationalist theory of the semantics of DIFFERENT, THE SAME, and EACH OTHER
Shuichi Yatabe
July 2021

In this article, I present and defend a theory of the internal readings of symmetrical predicates such as different and the same in which the meaning of such predicates is taken to contain the meaning of a reciprocal pronoun. The theory is shown to be able to account for the truth conditions of sentences in which the antecedent of a symmetrical predicate is a quantificational DP, sentences in which the same is used as part of a partitive construction, sentences containing multiple symmetrical predicates, and sentences in which a symmetrical predicate is under the scope of a negation. In addition, I present a novel theory of the semantics of reciprocal pronouns that is capable of assigning adequate truth conditions to sentences in which a right-node-raised reciprocal pronoun is anteceded by more than one DP simultaneously and sentences in which the antecedent of a reciprocal pronoun is a DP headed by a determiner like most and no. Both these theories are HPSG-based and representationalist, involving constraints on the form of semantic representations and, in the case of the former, even operations that copy and modify parts of semantic representations.

Version history:
v3: Further problems with the lep function and the MRS Adjustment Rule 1 have been fixed.
v2: In the theory presented in Version 1, the lep function and the MRS Adjustment Rule 1 were interacting in the wrong way. That has been rectified in Version 2, mainly by making modifications to the MRS Adjustment Rule 1.

Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/006007
(please use that when you cite this article)
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keywords: symmetrical predicates, reciprocal pronouns, hpsg, mrs, semantics, syntax
previous versions: v2 [June 2021]
v1 [June 2021]
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