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  1. Generalized Update Semantics.Simon Goldstein - 2019 - Mind 128 (511):795-835.
    This paper explores the relationship between dynamic and truth conditional semantics for epistemic modals. It provides a generalization of a standard dynamic update semantics for modals. This new semantics derives a Kripke semantics for modals and a standard dynamic semantics for modals as special cases. The semantics allows for new characterizations of a variety of principles in modal logic, including the inconsistency of ‘p and might not p’. Finally, the semantics provides a construction procedure for transforming any truth conditional semantics (...)
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  • Quantifier Words and Their Multifunctional(?) Parts.Anna Szabolcsi, James Doh Whang & Vera Zu - 2014 - Language and Linguistics 15 (1).
    Formal semantic analyses often take words to be minimal building blocks for the purposes of compositionality. But various recent theories of morphology and syntax have converged on the view that there is no demarcation line corresponding to the word level. The same conclusion has emerged from the compositional semantics of superlatives. In the spirit of extending compositionality below the word level, this paper explores how a small set of particles (Japanese KA and MO, Chinese DOU, and Hungarian VALA/VAGY, MIND, and (...)
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  • Compositionality Without Word Boundaries: (The) More and (the) Most.Anna Szabolcsi - 2012 - Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) 22.
    This paper seeks to illustrate the advantages of not treating phonological words as distinguished building blocks in compositional semantics. Following Bobaljik 2012, we derive the relative readings of amount superlatives in two steps, [[[d-many] comparative] superlative]. The existence of two comparative constructions is revealed, involving more vs. the more. Each builds a different superlative construction, explaining the conflicting intuitions about superlatives in the literature, as well as puzzles relating to the definite article in superlatives.
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  • Scope and Binding.Anna Szabolcsi - 2011 - In von Heusinger, Maienborn & Portner (eds.), Semantics: An International Handbook of Natural Language Meaning, Vol. 2. de Gruyter Mouton.
    The first part of this article (Sections 1–5) focuses on the classical notions of scope and binding and their formal foundations. It argues that once their semantic core is properly understood, it can be implemented in various different ways: with or without movement, with or without variables. The second part (Sections 6–12) takes up the empirical issues that have redrawn the map in the past two decades. It turns out that scope is not a primitive. Existential scope and distributive scope (...)
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  • Underspecification in Degree Operators.Guillaume Thomas - 2018 - Journal of Semantics 35 (1):43-93.
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  • The Development of “Most” Comprehension and Its Potential Dependence on Counting Ability in Preschoolers.Len Taing & Jeffrey Lidz - unknown
    Quantifiers are a test case for an interface between psychological questions, which attempt to specify the numerical content that supports the semantics of quantifiers, and linguistic questions, which uncover the range of possible quantifier meanings allowable within the constraints of the syntax. Here we explore the development of comprehension of most in English, of particular interest as it calls on precise numerical content that, in adults, requires an understanding of large exact numerosities (e.g., 23 blue dots and 17 yellow is (...)
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  • Interface Transparency and the Psychosemantics of Most.Jeffrey Lidz, Paul Pietroski, Tim Hunter & Justin Halberda - 2011 - Natural Language Semantics 19 (3):227-256.
    This paper proposes an Interface Transparency Thesis concerning how linguistic meanings are related to the cognitive systems that are used to evaluate sentences for truth/falsity: a declarative sentence S is semantically associated with a canonical procedure for determining whether S is true; while this procedure need not be used as a verification strategy, competent speakers are biased towards strategies that directly reflect canonical specifications of truth conditions. Evidence in favor of this hypothesis comes from a psycholinguistic experiment examining adult judgments (...)
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  • WHAT More IS.Alexis Wellwood - forthcoming - Philosophical Perspectives.
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  • Cross-Linguistic Variation in the Meaning of Quantifiers: Implications for Pragmatic Enrichment.Penka Stateva, Arthur Stepanov, Viviane Déprez, Ludivine Emma Dupuy & Anne Colette Reboul - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 10.
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  • Perspectival Plurality, Relativism, and Multiple Indexing.Dan Zeman - 2018 - In Rob Truswell, Chris Cummins, Caroline Heycock, Brian Rabern & Hannah Rohde (eds.), Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 21, Vol. 2. Semantics Archives. pp. 1353-1370.
    In this paper I focus on a recently discussed phenomenon illustrated by sentences containing predicates of taste: the phenomenon of " perspectival plurality " , whereby sentences containing two or more predicates of taste have readings according to which each predicate pertains to a different perspective. This phenomenon has been shown to be problematic for (at least certain versions of) relativism. My main aim is to further the discussion by showing that the phenomenon extends to other perspectival expressions than predicates (...)
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  • Learnability and Semantic Universals.Shane Steinert-Threlkeld & Jakub Szymanik - forthcoming - Semantics and Pragmatics.
    One of the great successes of the application of generalized quantifiers to natural language has been the ability to formulate robust semantic universals. When such a universal is attested, the question arises as to the source of the universal. In this paper, we explore the hypothesis that many semantic universals arise because expressions satisfying the universal are easier to learn than those that do not. While the idea that learnability explains universals is not new, explicit accounts of learning that can (...)
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  • Beyond Boolean Logic: Exploring Representation Languages for Learning Complex Concepts.Steven T. Piantadosi, Joshua B. Tenenbaum & Noah D. Goodman - 2010 - In S. Ohlsson & R. Catrambone (eds.), Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Cognitive Science Society. pp. 859--864.
  • Empty-Set Effects in Quantifier Interpretation.Oliver Bott, Fabian Schlotterbeck & Udo Klein - 2019 - Journal of Semantics 36 (1):99-163.
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  • Experimental Investigations of Ambiguity: The Case of Most.Hadas Kotek, Yasutada Sudo & Martin Hackl - 2015 - Natural Language Semantics 23 (2):119-156.
    In the study of natural language quantification, much recent attention has been devoted to the investigation of verification procedures associated with the proportional quantifier most. The aim of these studies is to go beyond the traditional characterization of the semantics of most, which is confined to explicating its truth-functional and presuppositional content as well as its combinatorial properties, as these aspects underdetermine the correct analysis of most. The present paper contributes to this effort by presenting new experimental evidence in support (...)
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  • What Do Quantifier Particles Do?Anna Szabolcsi - 2015 - Linguistics and Philosophy 38 (2):159-204.
    In many languages, the same particles that form quantifier words also serve as connectives, additive and scalar particles, question markers, roots of existential verbs, and so on. Do these have a unified semantics, or do they merely bear a family resemblance? Are they aided by silent operators in their varied roles―if yes, what operators? I dub the particles “quantifier particles” and refer to them generically with capitalized versions of the Japanese morphemes. I argue that both MO and KA can be (...)
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  • On the Identification of Quantifiers' Witness Sets: A Study of Multi-Quantifier Sentences.Livio Robaldo, Jakub Szymanik & Ben Meijering - 2014 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 23 (1):53-81.
    Natural language sentences that talk about two or more sets of entities can be assigned various readings. The ones in which the sets are independent of one another are particularly challenging from the formal point of view. In this paper we will call them ‘Independent Set (IS) readings’. Cumulative and collective readings are paradigmatic examples of IS readings. Most approaches aiming at representing the meaning of IS readings implement some kind of maximality conditions on the witness sets involved. Two kinds (...)
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  • Concept Types and Determination.S. Lobner - 2011 - Journal of Semantics 28 (3):279-333.
    The article offers a systematic account of four basic types of nouns, of four basic types of nominal determination and of the interaction of noun type and determination type. The four basic noun types are sortal, individual, relational and functional; they correspond to the four logical types 〈e,t〉, e, 〈e,〈e,t〉〉 and 〈e,e〉 on the one hand, and to four types of concepts on the other. The four basic types of nominal determination are singular definite, indefinite (a variety of determinations including (...)
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  • Determiners, Conservativity, Witnesses.Kai von Fintel & Edward L. Keenan - 2018 - Journal of Semantics 35 (1):207-217.
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  • Syntax and Semantics: An Overview.Arnim von Stechow - 2012 - In Klaus von Heusinger, Claudia Maienborn & Paul Portner (eds.), Semantics: An International Handbook of Natural Language Meaning. De Gruyter Mouton.
  • Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 9.Emar Maier, Corien Bary & Janneke Huitink (eds.) - 2005 - Nijmegen Centre for Semantics.
  • Quantifier Particles and Compositionality.Anna Szabolcsi - 2013 - Proceedings of the 19th Amsterdam Colloquium.
    In many languages, the same particles build quantifier words and serve as connectives, additive and scalar particles, question markers, existential verbs, and so on. Do the roles of each particle form a natural class with a stable semantics? Are the particles aided by additional elements, overt or covert, in fulfilling their varied roles? I propose a unified analysis, according to which the particles impose partial ordering requirements (glb and lub) on the interpretations of their hosts and the immediate larger contexts, (...)
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  • Superlatives, NPIs and Most.J. Gajewski - 2010 - Journal of Semantics 27 (1):125-137.
    The ability of English determiner most to license negative polarity items (NPIs) has long stood as a puzzle for theories that follow Ladusaw (1979) in claiming that NPIs must appear in the scope of downward entailing (DE) operators. Most licenses NPIs such as any and ever in its restrictor but is not downward, or upward, entailing with respect to its restrictor. In this paper, I argue that despite appearances to the contrary, NPIs in the restrictor of most are in the (...)
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  • Probability Operators.Seth Yalcin - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (11):916-37.
    This is a study in the meaning of natural language probability operators, sentential operators such as probably and likely. We ask what sort of formal structure is required to model the logic and semantics of these operators. Along the way we investigate their deep connections to indicative conditionals and epistemic modals, probe their scalar structure, observe their sensitivity to contex- tually salient contrasts, and explore some of their scopal idiosyncrasies.
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  • Split-Scope Definites: Relative Superlatives and Haddock Descriptions.Dylan Bumford - 2017 - Linguistics and Philosophy 40 (6):549-593.
    This paper argues for a particular semantic decomposition of morphological definiteness. I propose that the meaning of ‘the’ comprises two distinct compositional operations. The first builds a set of witnesses that satisfy the restricting noun phrase. The second tests this set for uniqueness. The motivation for decomposing the denotation of the definite determiner in this way comes from split-scope intervention effects. The two components—the selection of witnesses on the one hand and the counting of witnesses on the other—may take effect (...)
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  • The Conservativity of Many : Split Scope and Most.Maribel Romero - 2018 - Topoi 37 (3):393-404.
    Besides their cardinal and proportional readings, many and few have been argued to allow for a ‘reverse’ proportional reading that defies the conservativity universal. Recently, an analysis has been developed that derives the correct truth conditions for this reading while preserving conservativity. The present paper investigates two predictions of this analysis, based on two key ingredients. First, many is decomposed into a determiner stem many and the degree operator POS. This predicts that other elements may scopally intervene between the two (...)
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  • Constraints on the Lexicalization of Logical Operators.Roni Katzir & Raj Singh - 2013 - Linguistics and Philosophy 36 (1):1-29.
    We revisit a typological puzzle due to Horn (Doctoral Dissertation, UCLA, 1972) regarding the lexicalization of logical operators: in instantiations of the traditional square of opposition across categories and languages, the O corner, corresponding to ‘nand’ (= not and), ‘nevery’ (= not every), etc., is never lexicalized. We discuss Horn’s proposal, which involves the interaction of two economy conditions, one that relies on scalar implicatures and one that relies on markedness. We observe that in order to express markedness and to (...)
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  • The Processing of Polar Quantifiers, and Numerosity Perception.Isabelle Deschamps, Galit Agmon, Yonatan Loewenstein & Yosef Grodzinsky - 2015 - Cognition 143:115-128.
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  • A Unified Approach to Split Scope.Klaus Abels & Luisa Martí - 2010 - Natural Language Semantics 18 (4):435-470.
    The goal of this paper is to propose a unified approach to the split scope readings of negative indefinites, comparative quantifiers, and numerals. There are two main observations that justify this approach. First, split scope shows the same kinds of restrictions across these different quantifiers. Second, split scope always involves low existential force. In our approach, following Sauerland, natural language determiner quantifiers are quantifiers over choice functions, of type <<,t>,t>. In split readings, the quantifier over choice functions scopes above other (...)
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  • Comparison Across Domains in Delineation Semantics.Heather Burnett - 2015 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 24 (3):233-265.
    This paper presents a new logical analysis of quantity comparatives within the Delineation Semantics approach to gradability and comparison among many others. Along with the Degree Semantics framework Delineation Semantics is one of the dominant logical frameworks for analyzing the meaning of gradable constituents of the adjectival syntactic category; however, there has been very little work done investigating the application of this framework to the analysis of gradability outside the adjectival domain. This state of affairs distinguishes the Delineation Semantics framework (...)
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  • Modal Superlatives: A Compositional Analysis. [REVIEW]Maribel Romero - 2013 - Natural Language Semantics 21 (1):79-110.
    Superlative adjectives accompanied by certain modal adjectives like possible (e.g. John bought the largest possible present) are ambiguous between a reading where possible is a regular noun modifier and a reading paraphrasable as ‘as Adj as possible’, called ‘modal superlative reading’. Three interesting restrictions have been observed in the literature. First, possible and some other adjectives ending in -able, but not potential and probable, support the latter reading. Second, when the modal adjective appears postnominally, only the modal superlative reading is (...)
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  • Plurality Effects in an Exhaustification-Based Theory of Embedded Questions.Alexandre Cremers - 2018 - Natural Language Semantics 26 (3-4):193-251.
    Questions embedded under responsive predicates and definite descriptions both give rise to a variety of phenomena which can be grouped under the term plurality effects: quantificational variability, cumulativity, and homogeneity effects. This similarity has not gone unnoticed, and many proposals have taken inspiration in theories of definite plurals to account for these effects with embedded questions. Recently these phenomena have received less attention, as the field has focused on the so-called intermediate exhaustive reading of embedded questions instead, after Spector called (...)
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  • Computational Complexity of Polyadic Lifts of Generalized Quantifiers in Natural Language.Jakub Szymanik - 2010 - Linguistics and Philosophy 33 (3):215-250.
    We study the computational complexity of polyadic quantifiers in natural language. This type of quantification is widely used in formal semantics to model the meaning of multi-quantifier sentences. First, we show that the standard constructions that turn simple determiners into complex quantifiers, namely Boolean operations, iteration, cumulation, and resumption, are tractable. Then, we provide an insight into branching operation yielding intractable natural language multi-quantifier expressions. Next, we focus on a linguistic case study. We use computational complexity results to investigate semantic (...)
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  • The Meaning of 'Most': Semantics, Numerosity and Psychology.Paul Pietroski, Jeffrey Lidz, Tim Hunter & Justin Halberda - 2009 - Mind and Language 24 (5):554-585.
    The meaning of 'most' can be described in many ways. We offer a framework for distinguishing semantic descriptions, interpreted as psychological hypotheses that go beyond claims about sentential truth conditions, and an experiment that tells against an attractive idea: 'most' is understood in terms of one-to-one correspondence. Adults evaluated 'Most of the dots are yellow', as true or false, on many trials in which yellow dots and blue dots were displayed for 200 ms. Displays manipulated the ease of using a (...)
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  • The Distribution of Quantificational Suffixes in Japanese.Kazuko Yatsushiro - 2009 - Natural Language Semantics 17 (2):141-173.
    The existential and universal quantifiers in Japanese both consist of two morphemes: an indeterminate pronoun and a quantificational suffix. This paper examines the distributional characteristics of these suffixes (ka for the existential quantifier and mo for the universal quantifier). It is shown that ka can appear in a wider range of structural positions than mo can. This difference receives explanation on semantic grounds. I propose that mo is a generalized quantifier. More specifically, I assume that the phrase headed by mo (...)
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  • Processing of Numerical and Proportional Quantifiers.Sailee Shikhare, Stefan Heim, Elise Klein, Stefan Huber & Klaus Willmes - 2015 - Cognitive Science 39 (7):1504-1536.
    Quantifier expressions like “many” and “at least” are part of a rich repository of words in language representing magnitude information. The role of numerical processing in comprehending quantifiers was studied in a semantic truth value judgment task, asking adults to quickly verify sentences about visual displays using numerical or proportional quantifiers. The visual displays were composed of systematically varied proportions of yellow and blue circles. The results demonstrated that numerical estimation and numerical reference information are fundamental in encoding the meaning (...)
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