Definiteness, contextual domain restriction, and quantifier structure: a crosslinguistic perspective
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In this paper, we present a theory of interaction between definiteness and quantifier structure, where the definite determiner (D) performs the function of contextually restricting the domain of quantificational determiners (Qs). Our motivating data come from Greek and Basque, where D appears to compose with the Q itself. Similar compositions are found in Hungarian and Bulgarian. Following earlier work (Giannakidou 2004, Etxeberria 2005, Etxeberria and Giannakidou 2009) we define a domain restricting function DDR, in which D modifies the Q and supplies the contextual variable C to intersect with Q’s domain. DDR can also modify the NP in which case it works like an intersective modfier— and we suggest that this is the case in St’át’imcets Salish (drawing on data from Matthewson’s work). The result of DDR will be restricting the domain of Q by C, a weakly familiar property (in the sense of Roberts 2003, 2010), i.e. it is entailed in the common ground of the context. As a result of intersecting with this property, the Q that undergoes DDR becomes presuppositional, and we hypothesize that all presuppositional Qs (each-like Qs) have an underlying derivation of the domain restriction via D that we see in Greek and Basque overtly. Our analysis provides support for the program that domain restriction is grammatically represented, but we propose an important refinement: domain restriction can affect the Q itself (in agreement with von Fintel 1998, Martí 2003, Giannakidou 2004; pace Stanley 2002), and in fact quite systematically. We also show that the Q that is affected by DDR is a strong one, and explain the inability of weak Qs to undergo DDR as following from their status as adjectival.
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