David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Linguistics and Philosophy 21 (5):433-476 (1998)
The primary theoretical focus of this paper is on Free Choice uses of any, in particular on two phenomena that have remained largely unstudied. One involves the ability of any phrases to occur in affirmative episodic statements when aided by suitable noun modifiers. The other involves the difference between modals of necessity and possibility with respect to licensing of any. The central thesis advanced here is that FC any is a universal determiner whose domain of quantification is not a set of particular individuals but the set of possible individuals of the relevant kind. In a theory of genericity utilizing situations, an any phrase can be seen as having a universal quantifier binding the situation variable of the common noun. This inherent genericity is argued to be at the heart of the intuition that any statements support counterfactual inferences and do not involve existential commitments. A conflict in presuppositions is shown to account for the incompatibility of unmodified any phrases in affirmative episodic statements and the crucial role played by modification in ameliorating this clash is explicated. In the case of modals of necessity, the interaction between the universal force of any and the particular modal base is shown to be crucial. In view of these facts it is argued that FC any is not directly licensed by modal or generic operators as generally assumed but that its felicitous use is sensitive to the pragmatics of epistemic modality. Turning to its polarity sensitive uses, language internal as well as crosslinguistic evidence is presented to distinguish it from FC any in having the existential quantificational force typical of indefinites. The paper concludes by suggesting that the common tie between them is that they both occur in statements that apply to a class of entities, rather than to particular members of the class.
|Keywords||Linguistics Philosophy of Language Artificial Intelligence Computational Linguistics Semantics Syntax|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Itamar Francez (2009). Existentials, Predication, and Modification. Linguistics and Philosophy 32 (1):1-50.
Luis Alonso-Ovalle & Paula Menéndez-Benito (2010). Modal Indefinites. Natural Language Semantics 18 (1):1-31.
Similar books and articles
Eric Swanson (2010). On Scope Relations Between Quantifiers and Epistemic Modals. Journal of Semantics 27 (4):529-540.
Kai von Fintel & Sabine Iatridou (2003). Epistemic Containment. Linguistic Inquiry 34:173-98.
Janet Levin (2011). Reconstruing Modal Intuitions. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 11 (1):97-112.
Anastasia Giannakidou (2001). The Meaning of Free Choice. Linguistics and Philosophy 24 (6):659-735.
Kjell Johan Saeboe (2001). The Semantics of Scandinavian Free Choice Items. Linguistics and Philosophy 24 (6):737-788.
Valentine Hacquard (2009). On the Interaction of Aspect and Modal Auxiliaries. Linguistics and Philosophy 32 (3):279-315.
C. Peacocke (1997). Metaphysical Necessity: Understanding, Truth and Epistemology. Mind 106 (423):521-574.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads17 ( #107,850 of 1,413,138 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #66,796 of 1,413,138 )
How can I increase my downloads?