Topoi 35 (1):109-122 (2016)

Bart Geurts
Radboud University Nijmegen
The domain of a quantifier is determined by a variety of factors, which broadly speaking fall into two types. On the one hand, the context of utterance plays a role: if the focus of attention is on a particular collection of kangaroos, for example, then “Q kangaroos” is likely to range over the individuals in that set. On the other hand, the utterance itself will help to establish the quantificational domain, inter alia through presuppositions triggered within the sentence. In this paper, we concentrate our attention on constructions like the following, in which “the square to which... ” is the critical presupposition trigger: Q circles... Q of these circles... Q of these five circles...... have the same colour as the square to which they are connected. Many theories predict that all instances of these schemata will give rise to the presupposition that every circle is connected to a square. We present an analysis which predicts that these sentences should generally be accepted in a context in which not all the circles are connected to a square, with one exception only: if a quantified sentence is of type and Q is non-intersective, then the sentence should be more likely to be rejected. Furthermore, we predict that manipulating the context so as to make the connected circles more or less salient should have an effect on statements with non-intersective quantifiers only. These predictions were tested in a series of experiments
Keywords Quantification  Domain restriction  Presupposition
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DOI 10.1007/s11245-014-9293-0
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References found in this work BETA

Scorekeeping in a Language Game.David Lewis - 1979 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 8 (1):339--359.
Scorekeeping in a Language Game.David Lewis - 1979 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 8 (3):339.
Pragmatic Presuppositions.Robert Stalnaker - 1974 - In Context and Content. Oxford University Press. pp. 47--62.

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Citations of this work BETA

Definite Descriptions and Negative Existential Quantifiers.Paul Elbourne - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (7):1597-1612.
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.
Reasoning with ‘Some’.Bob van Tiel, Ira Noveck & Mikhail Kissine - forthcoming - Journal of Semantics.

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