Weak vs. strong Readings of donkey sentences and monotonicity inference in a dynamic setting

Linguistics and Philosophy 17 (2):109 - 158 (1994)

Abstract
In this paper, I show that the availability of what some authors have called the weak reading and the strong reading of donkey sentences with relative clauses is systematically related to monotonicity properties of the determiner. The correlation is different from what has been observed in the literature in that it concerns not only right monotonicity, but also left monotonicity (persistence/antipersistence). I claim that the reading selected by a donkey sentence with a double monotone determiner is in fact the one that validates inference based on the left monotonicity of the determiner. This accounts for the lack of strong reading in donkey sentences with MON determiners, which have been neglected in the literature. I consider the relevance of other natural forms of inference as well, but also suggest how monotonicity inference might play a central role in the actual process of interpretation. The formal theory is couched in dynamic predicate logic with generalized quantifiers.
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DOI 10.1007/BF00984775
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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.
Dynamic Predicate Logic.Jeroen Groenendijk & Martin Stokhof - 1991 - Linguistics and Philosophy 14 (1):39-100.
Descriptions.Stephen Neale - 1990 - MIT Press.
Reference and Generality.P. T. Geach - 1962 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Decomposing Modal Quantification.A. Brasoveanu - 2010 - Journal of Semantics 27 (4):437-527.
Reasoning with Quantifiers.Bart Geurts - 2003 - Cognition 86 (3):223--251.
Monotonicity and Processing Load.B. Geurts - 2005 - Journal of Semantics 22 (1):97-117.

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