David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Linguistics and Philosophy 17 (2):109 - 158 (1994)
In this paper, I show that the availability of what some authors have called the weak reading and the strong reading of donkey sentences with relative clauses is systematically related to monotonicity properties of the determiner. The correlation is different from what has been observed in the literature in that it concerns not only right monotonicity, but also left monotonicity (persistence/antipersistence). I claim that the reading selected by a donkey sentence with a double monotone determiner is in fact the one that validates inference based on the left monotonicity of the determiner. This accounts for the lack of strong reading in donkey sentences with MON determiners, which have been neglected in the literature. I consider the relevance of other natural forms of inference as well, but also suggest how monotonicity inference might play a central role in the actual process of interpretation. The formal theory is couched in dynamic predicate logic with generalized quantifiers.
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References found in this work BETA
Irene Heim (1982). The Semantics of Definite and Indefinite Noun Phrases. Dissertation, UMass Amherst
Stephen Neale (1990). Descriptions. MIT Press.
Jon Barwise & Robin Cooper (1981). Generalized Quantifiers and Natural Language. Linguistics and Philosophy 4 (2):159--219.
Jeroen Groenendijk & Martin Stokhof (1991). Dynamic Predicate Logic. Linguistics and Philosophy 14 (1):39-100.
P. T. Geach (1962/1968). Reference and Generality. Ithaca, N.Y.,Cornell University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
A. Brasoveanu (2010). Decomposing Modal Quantification. Journal of Semantics 27 (4):437-527.
Adrian Brasoveanu (2008). Donkey Pluralities: Plural Information States Versus Non-Atomic Individuals. [REVIEW] Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (2):129 - 209.
Bart Geurts (2003). Reasoning with Quantifiers. Cognition 86 (3):223--251.
Youngeun Yoon (1996). Total and Partial Predicates and the Weak and Strong Interpretations. Natural Language Semantics 4 (3):217-236.
Friederike Moltmann (2006). Unbound Anaphoric Pronouns: E-Type, Dynamic, and Structured-Propositions Approaches. Synthese 153 (2):199 - 260.
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