A unified account of distributivity, for -adverbials, and pseudopartitives

This paper presents a diagnostic for identifying distributive constructions and shows that it applies to pseudopartitives and for -adverbials. On this basis, a unified account is proposed for the parallels between the constructions involved. This account explains why for -adverbials reject telic predicates (*run to the store for five hours), why pseudopartitives reject count nouns (*five pounds of book ), and why both reject certain measure functions like temperature and speed (*30 of water, *drive for 5 mph). These restrictions all follow from a general constraint on distributive constructions. Related concepts such as the D operator (Link, 1987), the subinterval property (Bennett and Partee, 1972), and divisive reference (Cheng, 1973) can be understood as formalizing special cases of this constraint
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