At least not false, at most possible: between truth and assertibility of superlative quantifiers

Synthese 195 (2):571-602 (2018)

Maria Spychalska
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Generalized Quantifier Theory defines superlative quantifiers at most n and at least n as truth-conditionally equivalent to comparative quantifiers fewer than n+1 and more than n \1. It has been demonstrated, however, that this standard theory cannot account for various linguistic differences between these two types of quantifiers. In this paper I discuss how the distinction between assertibility and truth-conditions can be applied to explain this phenomenon. I draw a parallel between the assertibility of disjunctions and superlative quantifiers, and argue that those assertibility conditions are essentially modal. I use epistemic logic to formalize the assertibility conditions and revisit some of the linguistic puzzles related to superlative quantification.
Keywords Superlative quantifiers  Comparative quantifiers  Assertibility conditions  Epistemic logic  Disjunction
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-014-0615-y
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References found in this work BETA

The Logical Basis of Metaphysics.Michael DUMMETT - 1991 - Harvard University Press.
On Conditionals.Dorothy Edgington - 1995 - Mind 104 (414):235-329.
Truth-Conditional Pragmatics.François Recanati - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
Generalized Quantifiers and Natural Language.John Barwise & Robin Cooper - 1981 - Linguistics and Philosophy 4 (2):159--219.

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