David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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The paper proposes a novel account to the problem of exceptional scope (ES) of (in)definites, e.g. the widest and intermediate scope readings of the sentence Every student of mine read every poem that a famous Romanian poet wrote before World War II. We propose that ES readings are available when the sentence is interpreted as anaphoric to quantificational domains and quantificational dependencies introduced in the previous discourse. For example, the two every quantifiers and the indefinite elaborate on the sets of individuals and the correlations between them introduced by a previous sentence like Every student chose a poet and read every poem written by him (for the intermediate scope reading) or a sentence like Every student chose a poet - the same poet - and read every poem written by him (for the widest scope reading). Our account, formulated within a compositional dynamic system couched in classical type logic, relies on two independently motivated assumptions: (a) the discourse context stores not only (sets of) individuals, but also quantificational dependencies between them, and (b) quantifier domains are always contextually restricted. Under this analysis, (in)definites are unambiguous and we do not resort to movement or special storage mechanisms, nor do weposit special choice-functional variables.
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