Superplurals in English

Analysis 68 (3):186–197 (2008)
where ‘aa’ is a plural term, and ‘F’ a plural predicate. Following George Boolos (1984) and others, many philosophers and logicians also think that plural expressions should be analysed as not introducing any new ontological commitments to some sort of ‘plural entities’, but rather as involving a new form of reference to objects to which we are already committed (for an overview and further details, see Linnebo 2004). For instance, the plural term ‘aa’ refers to Alice, Bob and Charlie simultaneously, and the plural predicate ‘F’ is true of some things just in case these things cooperate. A natural question that arises is whether the step from the singular to the plural can be iterated. Are there terms that stand to ordinary plural terms the way ordinary plural terms stand to singular terms? Let’s call such terms superplural. A superplural term would thus, loosely speaking, refer to several ‘pluralities’ at once, much as an ordinary plural term refers to several objects at once.1 Further, let’s call a predicate superplural if it can be predicated of superplural terms. It is reasonably straightforward to devise a formal logic of superplural terms, superplural predicates, and even superplural quantifiers (see Rayo 2006). But does this formal logic reflect any features of natural languages? In particular, does ordinary English contain superplural terms and predicates? The purpose of this article is to address these questions. We examine some earlier arguments for the existence of superplural expressions in English and find them to be either..
Keywords plurals   superplurals
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DOI 10.1093/analys/68.3.186
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References found in this work BETA
Plural Predication.Thomas McKay - 2006 - Oxford University Press.
Composition as a Fiction.Cian Dorr & Gideon Rosen - 2002 - In Richard Gale (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to Metaphysics. Blackwell. pp. 151--174.
The Logic and Meaning of Plurals. Part I.Byeong-Uk Yi - 2005 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 34 (5-6):459-506.
Events and Plurality.Fred Landman - 2000 - Kluwer Academic Publisher.
Absolute Generality.Agustín Rayo & Gabriel Uzquiano (eds.) - 2006 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA
Aristotelian Continua.Øystein Linnebo, Stewart Shapiro & Geoffrey Hellman - 2016 - Philosophia Mathematica 24 (2):214-246.
Ontological Superpluralism.Ben Caplan - 2011 - Philosophical Perspectives 25 (1):79-114.
Mass Nouns and Plural Logic.David Nicolas - 2008 - Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (2):211-244.

View all 14 citations / Add more citations

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Multigrade Predicates.Alex Oliver & Timothy Smiley - 2004 - Mind 113 (452):609-681.
The Logic and Meaning of Plurals. Part II.Byeong-uk Yi - 2006 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 35 (3):239-288.
A Unified Analysis of the English Bare Plural.Greg N. Carlson - 1977 - Linguistics and Philosophy 1 (3):413 - 456.
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