Reciprocals are Definites

Natural Language Semantics 9 (1):69-138 (2001)
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Abstract

This paper proposes that elementary reciprocal sentences have four semantic readings: a strongly reciprocal interpretation, a weakly reciprocal interpretation, a situation-based weakly reciprocal reading, and a collective reading. Interpretational possibilities of reciprocal sentences that have been discussed in the literature are identified as one of these four. A compositional semantic analysis of all of these readings is provided in which the reciprocal expression is uniformly represented as 'the other ones among them' (recasting Heim, Lasnik and May 1991a, b). A reciprocal sentence is thus a special kind of relational plural. Interpretational variability comes about by the same mechanisms of plural predication at work in relational plurals: pluralization operators, LF operations like QR, and addition of contextual information

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Citations of this work

Counterfactuals, correlatives, and disjunction.Luis Alonso-Ovalle - 2009 - Linguistics and Philosophy 32 (2):207-244.
On the plurality of verbs.Angelika Kratzer - 2008 - In Johannes Dölling, Tatjana Heyde-Zybatow & Martin Schäfer (eds.), Event Structures in Linguistic Form and Interpretation. De Gruyter. pp. 269-300.
Plural Predication and the Strongest Meaning Hypothesis.Yoad Winter - 2001 - Journal of Semantics 18 (4):333-365.
Pluractional comparisons.Sigrid Beck - 2012 - Linguistics and Philosophy 35 (1):57-110.

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References found in this work

Semantics in generative grammar.Irene Heim & Angelika Kratzer - 1998 - Malden, MA: Blackwell. Edited by Angelika Kratzer.
An investigation of the lumps of thought.Angelika Kratzer - 1989 - Linguistics and Philosophy 12 (5):607 - 653.
A more general theory of definite descriptions.Richard Sharvy - 1980 - Philosophical Review 89 (4):607-624.

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