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About this topic
Summary Scope is a broad phenomenon, meaning (roughly) the extent or range to which some syntactic element or semantic operator applies.  It includes, but is not limited to, the scope of words, the scope of connectives, the scope of quantifiers, the scope of modifiers (whether or not individual words), the scope of propositional attitudes, and the scope of quantifier-like expressions such as all manner of descriptions.  It can also be used, in the absence of a separate category for it, to discussions of the scope of certain pragmatic phenomena, such as presupposition and implicatures of various types. A major topic of discussion under this general heading is scopal ambiguity in natural language, which exists whenever and wherever a semantic (or pragmatic) phenomenon can be read in multiple ways differing in scope, some wider and some narrower.  The issue also comes up in philosophical areas such as practical or instrumental reasoning,
Key works Given the scope of scope, the closest thing to a key work (though restricted to the philosophy of language) is  Szabolcsi 1997.  
Introductions The closest thing to an introduction to the subject is Szabolcsi 1997, which introduces the extended collection above chosen as the key work.
Related categories

144 found
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  1. Parasitic Scope.Chris Barker - 2007 - Linguistics and Philosophy 30 (4):407-444.
    I propose the first strictly compositional semantic account of same. New data, including especially NP-internal uses such as two men with the same name, suggests that same in its basic use is a quantificational element taking scope over nominals. Given type-lifting as a generally available mechanism, I show that this follows naturally from the fact that same is an adjective. Independently-motivated assumptions extend the analysis to standard examples such as Anna and Bill read the same book via a mechanism I (...)
  2. Unembedded Indirect Discourse.Corien Bary & Emar Maier - 2014 - Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 18:77--94.
    This paper contributes to two debates: (i) the debate about whether or not ancient Greek has Free Indirect Discourse (FID), and (ii) the debate about how we should analyze FID semantically. We do this by showing that there is a distinction between FID and what we call Unembedded Indirect Discourse (UID). The semantic analysis that we develop for the latter shows that the two phenomena, though superficially similar, are semantically fundamentally different. We conclude that UID would have been more deserving (...)
  3. A Priori Knowledge and the Scope of Philosophy.George Bealer - 1996 - Philosophical Studies 81 (2-3):121-142.
    This paper provides a defense of two traditional theses: the Autonomy of Philosophy and the Authority of Philosophy. The first step is a defense of the evidential status of intuitions (intellectual seemings). Rival views (such as radical empiricism), which reject the evidential status of intuitions, are shown to be epistemically self-defeating. It is then argued that the only way to explain the evidential status of intuitions is to invoke modal reliabilism. This theory requires that intuitions have a certain qualified modal (...)
  4. DegP Scope Revisited.Sigrid Beck - 2012 - Natural Language Semantics 20 (3):227-272.
    The semantic literature takes degree operators like the comparative, but also measure phrases, the equative, the superlative and so on, to be quantifiers over degrees. This is well motivated by their semantic contribution, but leads one to expect far more scope interaction than is actually observed. This paper proposes an alternative-semantic analysis of certain degree constructions, in particular constructions with little and other negative antonyms. Restrictions on scope can then be explained as intervention effects.
  5. Proceedings of NELS 26.Jill Beckman (ed.) - 1997 - GLSA, UMass Amhert.
  6. Scope Dominance with Monotone Quantifiers Over Finite Domains.Gilad Ben-Avi & Yoad Winter - 2004 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 13 (4):385-402.
    We characterize pairs of monotone generalized quantifiers Q1 and Q2 over finite domains that give rise to an entailment relation between their two relative scope construals. This relation between quantifiers, which is referred to as scope dominance, is used for identifying entailment relations between the two scopal interpretations of simple sentences of the form NP1–V–NP2. Simple numerical or set-theoretical considerations that follow from our main result are used for characterizing such relations. The variety of examples in which they hold are (...)
  7. The Scope of Renewal.S. Bernard Lonergan - 1998 - Method 16 (2):83-102.
  8. Optionality, Scope, and Licensing: An Application of Partially Ordered Categories.Raffaella Bernardi & Anna Szabolcsi - 2008 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 17 (3):237-283.
    This paper uses a partially ordered set of syntactic categories to accommodate optionality and licensing in natural language syntax. A complex but well-studied data set pertaining to the syntax of quantifier scope and negative polarity licensing in Hungarian is used to illustrate the proposal. The presentation is geared towards both linguists and logicians. The paper highlights that the main ideas can be implemented in different grammar formalisms, and discusses in detail an implementation where the partial ordering on categories is given (...)
  9. Scope in English: Analysis in CCG+UC2.Maria Bittner - manuscript
    Day 5 of advanced course on "Crosslinguistic compositional semantics" at 2009 LSA Summer Institute at UC Berkeley. Plan for today: (a) Introduction: scope prediction (SA vs. BA), sample data (English vs. Kalaallisut), (b) Analysis of English data.
  10. From Kalaallisut to English: Analysis in CCG+UC2.Maria Bittner - manuscript
    Day 4 of advanced course on "Crosslinguistic compositional semantics" at 2009 LSA Summer Institute at UC Berkeley. Plan to today: (a) Introduction (syn-sem traits of English vs. Kalaallisut, scope corollary), (b) UC1 + event (re)centering = UC2, (c) English and Kalaallisut in CCG+UC2, (d) Analysis of Kalaallisut BA.TO.L (review) vs. English SA.SU.S (new).
  11. Scope in Kalaallisut: Analysis in CCG+UC2.Maria Bittner - manuscript
    Day 6 of advanced course on "Crosslinguistic compositional semantics" at 2009 LSA Summer Institute at UC Berkeley. Plan for today: (a) Review: scope prediction, Kalaallisut data, (b) Analysis of Kalaallisut data, (c) Questions & discussion.
  12. Quantification in Eskimo: A Challenge for Compositional Semantics.Maria Bittner - 1995 - In E. Bach, E. Jelinek, A. Kratzer & B. Partee (eds.), Quantification in Natural Languages. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 59--80.
    This paper describes quantificational structures in Greenlandic Eskimo (Kalaallisut), a language where familiar quantificational meanings are expressed in ways that are quite different from English. Evidence from this language thus poses some formidable challenges for cross-linguistic theories of compositional semantics.
  13. Scope in English & Kalaallisut: Analysis in CCG+UC.Maria Bittner - unknown
  14. The Scope of the Problem.John R. Boatright - 2008 - In Tom L. Beauchamp, Norman E. Bowie & Denis Gordon Arnold (eds.), Ethical Theory and Business. Pearson/Prentice Hall. pp. 136.
  15. The Processing Domain of Dcope Interaction.Oliver Bott & Fabian Schlotterbeck - 2015 - Journal of Semantics 32 (1):fft015.
    The present study investigates whether quantifier scope is computed incrementally during online sentence processing. We exploited the free word order in German to manipulate whether the verbal predicate preceded or followed the second quantifier in doubly quantified sentences that required the computation of inverse scope. A possessive pronoun in the first quantifier that had to be bound by the second quantifier was used to enforce scope inversion. We tested whether scope inversion causes difficulty and whether this difficulty emerges even at (...)
  16. Scope of Application: Articles 4-5.A. Brand Ronald, Flechtner Harry & Ferrari Franco - 2009 - In Ronald A. Brand, Harry Flechtner & Franco Ferrari (eds.), The Draft Uncitral Digest and Beyond: Cases, Analysis and Unresolved Issues in the U.N. Sales Convention. Sellier de Gruyter.
  17. Strategies for Scope Taking.Adrian Brasoveanu & Jakub Dotlačil - 2015 - Natural Language Semantics 23 (1):1-19.
    This squib reports the results of two experimental studies, a binary choice and a self-paced reading study, that provide strong support for the hypothesis in Tunstall that the distinct scopal properties of each and every are at least to some extent the consequence of an event-differentiation requirement contributed by each. However, we also show that the emerging picture is more complex than Tunstall suggests: English speakers seem to fall into at least three groups regarding the scopal properties of each and (...)
  18. Exceptional Wide Scope as Anaphora to Quantificational Dependencies.Adrian Brasoveanu & Donka F. Farkas - manuscript
    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 (...)
  19. How Indefinites Choose Their Scope.Adrian Brasoveanu & Donka F. Farkas - 2011 - Linguistics and Philosophy 34 (1):1-55.
    The paper proposes a novel solution to the problem of scope posed by natural language indefinites that captures both the difference in scopal freedom between indefinites and bona fide quantifiers and the syntactic sensitivity that the scope of indefinites does nevertheless exhibit. Following the main insight of choice functional approaches, we connect the special scopal properties of indefinites to the fact that their semantics can be stated in terms of choosing a suitable witness. This is in contrast to bona fide (...)
  20. Overt Scope in Hungarian.Michael Brody & Anna Szabolcsi - 2003 - Syntax 6 (1).
    The focus of this paper is the syntax of inverse scope in Hungarian, a language that largely disambiguates quantifier scope at spell-out. Inverse scope is attributed to alternate orderings of potentially large chunks of structure, but with appeal to base-generation, as opposed to nonfeature-driven movement as in Kayne 1998. The proposal is developed within mirror theory and conforms to the assumption that structures are antisymmetrical. The paper also develops a matching notion of scope in terms of featural domination, as opposed (...)
  21. Wide-Scope Requirements and the Ethics of Belief.Berit Brogaard - forthcoming - In Jonathan Matheson & Rico Vitz (eds.), The Ethics of Belief.
    William Kingdon Clifford proposed a vigorous ethics of belief, according to which you are morally prohibited from believing something on insufficient evidence. Though Clifford offers numerous considerations in favor of his ethical theory, the conclusion he wants to draw turns out not to follow from any reasonable assumptions. In fact, I will argue, regardless of how you propose to understand the notion of evidence, it is implausible that we could have a moral obligation to refrain from believing something whenever we (...)
  22. Wide or Narrow Scope?John Broome - 2007 - Mind 116 (462):359-370.
    This paper is a response to ‘Why Be Rational?’ by Niko Kolodny. Kolodny argues that we have no reason to satisfy the requirements of rationality. His argument assumes that these requirements have a logically narrow scope. To see what the question of scope turns on, this comment provides a semantics for ‘requirement’. It shows that requirements of rationality have a wide scope, at least under one sense of ‘requirement’. Consequently Kolodny's conclusion cannot be derived.
  23. Instrumental Rationality, Symmetry and Scope.John Brunero - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 157 (1):125-140.
    Instrumental rationality prohibits one from being in the following state: intending to pass a test, not intending to study, and believing one must intend to study if one is to pass. One could escape from this incoherent state in three ways: by intending to study, by not intending to pass, or by giving up one’s instrumental belief. However, not all of these ways of proceeding seem equally rational: giving up one’s instrumental belief seems less rational than giving up an end, (...)
  24. The Scope of Rational Requirements.John Brunero - 2010 - Philosophical Quarterly 60 (238):28-49.
    Niko Kolodny has argued that some (local) rational requirements are narrow-scope requirements. Against this, I argue here that all (local) rational requirements are wide-scope requirements. I present a new objection to the narrow-scope interpretations of the four specific rational requirements which Kolodny considers. His argument for the narrow-scope interpretations of these four requirements rests on a false assumption, that an attitude which puts in place a narrow-scope rational requirement somewhere thereby puts in place a narrow-scope rational requirement everywhere. My argument (...)
  25. On the Generalization of the Logistic Law of Growth.Roger Buis - 1991 - Acta Biotheoretica 39 (3-4):185-195.
    This communication presents a discussion of some extensions of the formalism of Verhulst's simple logistics, which may constitute an autonomous growth model of a more general scope.For that purpose, the basis concept of growth diagram or trajectory is called upon, as it affords the graphic representation of the change in the growth variable y, using two relevant kinetic parameters: the instantaneous rate and the instantaneous acceleration. The two possible kinds of trajectories are in relation to the use of absolute (V (...)
  26. The Great Scope Inversion Conspiracy.Daniel Büring - 1997 - Linguistics and Philosophy 20 (2):175-194.
  27. Scope Control and Grammatical Dependencies.Alastair Butler - 2007 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 16 (3):241-264.
    This paper develops a semantics with control over scope relations using Vermeulen’s stack valued assignments as information states. This makes available a limited form of scope reuse and name switching. The goal is to have a general system that fixes available scoping effects to those that are characteristic of natural language. The resulting system is called Scope Control Theory, since it provides a theory about what scope has to be like in natural language. The theory is shown to replicate a (...)
  28. Philosophy: Its Scope and Relations.J. E. C. & Henry Sidgwick - 1902 - Philosophical Review 11 (5):539.
  29. Against Widescopism.Ben Caplan - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 125 (2):167-190.
    Descriptivists say that every name is synonymous with some definite description, and Descriptivists who are Widescopers say that the definite description that a name is synonymous with must take wide scope with respect to modal adverbs such as “necessarily”. In this paper, I argue against Widescopism. Widescopers should be Super Widescopers: that is, they should say that the definite description that a name is synonymous with must take wide scope with respect to complementizers such as “that”. Super Widescopers should be (...)
  30. Some Remarks on Scope Phenomena.Danièle Clément & Wolf Thümmel - 1981 - In W. Klein & W. Levelt (eds.), Crossing the Boundaries in Linguistics. Reidel. pp. 79--93.
  31. Quantifier Scope and the ECP.Peter Cole - 1985 - Linguistics and Philosophy 8 (2):283 - 289.
  32. Children's Command of Negation.Stephen Crain - manuscript
    Poverty -of-stimulus arguments have taken new ground recently, augmented by experimental findings from th e study of child language. In this paper, we briefly review two variants of the poverty-of-stimulus argument that have received empirical support from studies of child language; then we examine a third argument of this kind in more detail. The case under discussion involves the structural notion of c-command as it pertains to children’s interpretation of disjunction in the scope of negation.
  33. Scope Marking: Cross-Linguistic Variation in Indirect.Veneeta Dayal - unknown
    Overview A scope marking structure is characterized by the fact that it has two clauses, each of which contains wh expressions [CP-1...wh1...][CP-2...wh2(...whn)...]. While wh- 1 is a fixed lexical item, wh-2...wh-n are not. A possible answer to the question seems to specify values not for wh1 but for wh2...whn. In recent years such structures have come under a lot of scrutiny and various analyses have been proposed to account for their properties. In spite of differences in detail, these analyses can (...)
  34. Two Objections to Wide-Scoping.Daan Evers - 2011 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 83 (13):251-255.
    Wide-scopers argue that the detachment of intuitively false ‘ought’ claims from hypothetical imperatives is blocked because ‘ought’ takes wide, as opposed to narrow, scope. I present two arguments against this view. The first questions the premise that natural language conditionals are true just in case the antecedent is false. The second shows that intuitively false ‘ought’s can still be detached even WITH wide-scope readings. This weakens the motivation for wide-scoping.
  35. Desires, Scope, and Tense.Fara Delia Graff - 2003 - Philosophical Perspectives 17 (1):141-163.
    According to James McCawley (1981) and Richard Larson and Gabriel Segal (1995), the following sentence is three-ways ambiguous: -/- Harry wants to be the mayor of Kenai. -/- According to them also, the three-way ambiguity cannot be accommodated on the Russellian view that definite descriptions are quantified noun phrases. In order to capture the three-way ambiguity of the sentence, these authors propose that definite descriptions must be ambiguous: sometimes they are predicate expressions; sometimes they are Russellian quantified noun phrases. After (...)
  36. Scope Confusions and Unsatisfiable Disjuncts: Two Problems for Supervaluationism.Delia Graff Fara - 2010 - In Richard Dietz & Sebastiano Moruzzi (eds.), (2010) ‘Scope Confusions and Unsatisfiable Disjuncts: Two Problems for Supervaluation- ism’, in eds., Cuts and Clouds: Vaguenesss, Its Nature, and Its Logic,. Oxford University Press.
  37. Scope Matters.Donka Farkas - 2000 - In Klaus von Heusinger & Urs Egli (eds.), Reference and Anaphoric Relations. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 79--108.
  38. Dependent Indefinites.Donka F. Farkas - unknown
    The paper rst lays out a non-congurational approach to scope ambiguities in which scope dependencies are treated as dependencies between evaluation indices of variables. The notions of dependent and domain variables are dened naturally in this framework. These concepts are then used to account for the distribution and interpretation of determiner reduplication in Hungarian, a phenomenon that has not received much attention so far.1 1. Introduction This paper contributes to the study of the semantics of indenites in natural language by (...)
  39. Specicity and Scope.Donka F. Farkas - unknown
    1 The notion of specicity has played a signicant role in linguistic theory both in the elds of semantics and, increasingly, in work on syntax/semantics interface., Abbott, Kripke, Fodor and Sag, Higginbotham and Enc among many others; see also Pesetsky, Szabolcsi and Zwarts, Diesing, Dobrovie- Sorin, E. Kiss, Mahajan, and Chung for work where specicity is discussed in connection with syntactic matters.) Specicity is interesting for the student of semantics because it is crucially relevant to establishing varieties of reference. For (...)
  40. Scope and the Grammar of Choice.Donka F. Farkas & Adrian Brasoveanu - unknown
    and Data The essence of scope in natural language semantics can be characterized as follows: an expression e1 takes scope over an expression e2 iff the interpretation of the former affects the interpretation of the latter. Consider, for example, the sentence in (1) below, which is typical of the cases discussed in this paper in that it involves an indefinite and a universal (or, more generally, a non-existential) quantifier. (1) Everyx student in my class read ay paper about scope. How (...)
  41. Achieving Expressive Completeness and Computational Efficiency for Underspecified Scope Representations.Chris Fox & Shalom Lappin - unknown
    The tension between expressive power and computational tractability poses an acute problem for theories of underspecified semantic representation. In previous work we have presented an account of underspecified scope representations within Property Theory with Curry Typing, an intensional first-order theory for natural language semantics. Here we show how filters applied to the underspecified-scope terms of PTCT permit both expressive completeness and the reduction of computational complexity in a significant class of non-worst case scenarios.
  42. Expressiveness and Complexity in Underspecified Semantics.Chris Fox & Shalom Lappin - 2010 - Linguistic Analysis 36:385--417.
    In this paper we address an important issue in the development of an adequate formal theory of underspecified semantics. The tension between expressive power and computational tractability poses an acute problem for any such theory. Generating the full set of resolved scope readings from an underspecified representation produces a combinatorial explosion that undermines the efficiency of these representations. Moreover, Ebert (2005) shows that most current theories of underspecified semantic representation suffer from expressive incompleteness. In previous work we present an account (...)
  43. Extraposition and Scope: A Case for Overt QR.Danny Fox - unknown
    This paper argues that “covert” operations like Quantifier Raising (QR) can precede “overt” operations. Specifically we argue that there are overt operations that must take the output of QR as their input. If this argument is successful there are two interesting consequences for the theory of grammar. First, there cannot be a “covert” (i.e. post-spellout) component of the grammar. That is, what distinguishes operations that affect phonology from those that do not cannot be an arbitrary point in the derivation (“spellout”) (...)
  44. Condition a and Scope Reconstruction.Danny Fox - unknown
    It is well known that in certain environments the scope of a moved quantifier phrase can be determined at either its pre-movement position (“scope reconstruction”) or its postmovement position (“surface scope”). Thus the familiar ambiguity of (1) results from two choices for the scope of the moved QP. Under scope reconstruction, the scope of the moved existential QP is the sister of the pre-movement position (i.e. the sister of t, [to win the lottery]), while under surface scope it is the (...)
  45. Illusive Scope of Universal Quantifiers.Danny Fox & Uli Sauerland - 1997 - In Jill Beckman (ed.), Proceedings of NELS 26. GLSA, UMass Amhert.
    It is widely believed that existential quantifiers can bring about the semantic effects of a scope which is wider than their actual syntactic scope (See Fodor & Sag (1982), Cresti (1995), Kratzer (1995), Reinhart (1995) and Winter (1995), among many others.) On the other hand, it is assumed that the syntactic scope of universal quantifiers can be determined unequivocally by the semantics. This paper shows that this second assumption is wrong; universal quantifiers can also bring about scope illusions, though in (...)
  46. Broadening the Scope.Ioel Frader - forthcoming - Bioethics Forum.
  47. The Logic of Failures of the Cinematic Imagination: Two Case Studies – and a Logical Puzzle and Solution in Just One.Joseph S. Fulda - 2013 - Pragmatics and Society 4 (1):105-111.
    This piece is intended to explicate - by providing a precising definition of - the common cinematic figure which I term “the failure of the cinematic imagination,“ while presenting a logical puzzle and its solution within a simple Gricean framework. -/- It should be noted that this is neither fully accurate nor fully precise, because of the audience; one should examine the remaining articles in the issue to understand what I mean.
  48. Austinian Ifs Revisited – And Squared Away with the Equivalence Thesis and the Theory of Conditional Elements.Joseph S. Fulda - 2012 - RASK 36:51-71.
    This paper deals with Austinian ifs of every stripe within classical logic. It is argued that they are truth-functional and the theory of conditional elements is used. Ellipsis is key. Corrects an error in Fulda (2010) in translation and therefore scope. -/- The PDF is made available gratis by the Publisher.
  49. The Logic of Skolem Functions: A Subtle Construction and a Subtle Error.Joseph S. Fulda - 1988 - Association for Automated Reasoning Newsletter 10:5-6.
    The full-text of the entire issue is available on the Web; readers seeing this should ensure that there is permission to download. It would be quite difficult to separate just my piece from the others.
  50. The Logistic Equation and Double Jeopardy.Joseph S. Fulda - 1987 - Ecological Modelling 36 (3/4):315-316.
    A second demonstration (more powerful because more subtle) of how a prevalent scope error can render a model invalid, and thus how difficult modeling really is. The prevalence indicates the difficulty, as the error is often built-in and very subtle and thus easily escapes notice.
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