Natural Language Semantics 17 (1):63-98 (2009)

Abstract Proportional quantifiers have played a central role in the development of formal semantics because they set a benchmark for the expressive power needed to describe quantification in natural language (Barwise and Cooper Linguist Philos 4:159–219, 1981). The proportional quantifier most, in particular, supplied the initial motivation for adopting Generalized Quantifier Theory (GQT) because its meaning is definable as a relation between sets of individuals, which are taken to be semantic primitives in GQT. This paper proposes an alternative analysis of most that does not treat it as a lexical item whose meaning is accessible without the help of compositional processes. Instead, proportional most is analyzed as the superlative of many (cf. Bresnan Linguist Inq 4(3):274–344, 1973). Two types of empirical evidence are presented in support of this view, both exploiting the fact that only a decompositional analysis of proportional quantifiers provides the means to generate different logical forms for seemingly equivalent statements of the form most A B and more than half of the A B
Keywords generalized   quantifiers
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DOI 10.1007/s11050-008-9039-x
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References found in this work BETA

Generalized Quantifiers and Natural Language.John Barwise & Robin Cooper - 1981 - Linguistics and Philosophy 4 (2):159--219.
Generalized Quantifiers and Natural Language.Jon Barwise - 1980 - Linguistics and Philosophy 4:159.
On a Generalization of Quantifiers.Andrzej Mostowski - 1957 - Fundamenta Mathematicae 44 (2):12--36.
The Universal Density of Measurement.Danny Fox & Martin Hackl - 2006 - Linguistics and Philosophy 29 (5):537 - 586.

View all 18 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Probability Operators.Seth Yalcin - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (11):916-37.
What Do Quantifier Particles Do?Anna Szabolcsi - 2015 - Linguistics and Philosophy 38 (2):159-204.

View all 44 citations / Add more citations

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