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Profile: Anna Szabolcsi (New York University)
  1. The Noun Phrase.Anna Szabolcsi - 1994 - In Ferenc Kiefer & Katalin E. Kiss (eds.), The Syntactic Structure of Hungarian. Academic Press.
    This chapter makes the following main claims about Hungarian: A. There is a detailed parallelism between the structures of noun phrases (DPs) and clauses (CPs), involving inflection, possessor extraction, and articles as complementizers. B. "HAVE sentences" are existential sentences involving possessor extraction. C. The argument frame of complex event nominals is identical to that of the underlying verb. D. The deverbal affix in nominals may have either a plain verb or a complex verb in its scope.
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  2. Quantification.Anna Szabolcsi - 2010 - Cambridge University Press.
    Machine generated contents note: 1. What this book is about and how to use it; 2. Generalized quantifiers and their elements: operators and their scopes; 3. Generalized quantifiers in non-nominal domains; 4. Some empirically significant properties of quantifiers and determiners; 5. Potential challenges for generalized quantifiers; 6. Scope is not uniform and not a primitive; 7. Existential scope versus distributive scope; 8. Distributivity and scope; 9. Bare numeral indefinites; 10. Modified numerals; 11. Clause-internal scopal diversity; 12. Towards a compositional semantics (...)
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  3.  9
    Additive Presuppositions Are Derived Through Activating Focus Alternatives.Anna Szabolcsi - 2017 - Proceedings of the 2017 Amsterdam Colloquium.
    The additive presupposition of particles like "too"/"even" is uncontested, but usually stipulated. This paper proposes to derive it based on two properties. (i) "too"/"even" is cross-linguistically focus-sensitive, and (ii) in many languages, "too"/"even" builds negative polarity items and free-choice items as well, often in concert with other particles. (i) is the source of its existential presupposition, and (ii) offers clues regarding how additivity comes about. (i)-(ii) together demand a sparse semantics for "too/even," one that can work with different kinds of (...)
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  4. What Do Quantifier Particles Do?Anna Szabolcsi - 2015 - Linguistics and Philosophy 38 (2):159-204.
    In many languages, the same particles that form quantifier words also serve as connectives, additive and scalar particles, question markers, roots of existential verbs, and so on. Do these have a unified semantics, or do they merely bear a family resemblance? Are they aided by silent operators in their varied roles―if yes, what operators? I dub the particles “quantifier particles” and refer to them generically with capitalized versions of the Japanese morphemes. I argue that both MO and KA can be (...)
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  5. Comparative Superlatives.Anna Szabolcsi - 1986 - In N. Fukui, T. Rapoport & E. Sagey (eds.), Anna Szabolcsi 1986 MIT WPL 8. MIT Press.
    I will make the following two main claims: (4) a. Under syntactically specifiable conditions superlatives take sentential scope. b. Sentential scope superlatives are necessarily indefinite.
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  6. Strategies for Scope Taking (1997).Anna Szabolcsi - 1997 - In Ways of Scope Taking. Springer.
    Standard theories of scope are semantically blind. They employ a single logico-syntactic rule of scope assignment quantifying in Quantifier Raising, storage, or type change etc which roughly speaking prefixes an expression \aplha.
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  7. Positive Polarity - Negative Polarity.Anna Szabolcsi - 2004 - Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 22 (2):409-452..
    Positive polarity items (PPIs) are generally thought to have the boring property that they cannot scope below negation. The starting point of the paper is the observation that their distribution is significantly more complex; specifically, someone/something-type PPIs share properties with negative polarity items (NPIs). First, these PPIs are disallowed in the same environments that license yet type NPIs; second, adding any NPI-licenser rescues the illegitimate constellation. This leads to the conclusion that these PPIs have the combined properties of yet-type and (...)
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  8. Overt Scope in Hungarian.Michael Brody & Anna Szabolcsi - 2003 - Syntax 6 (1).
    The focus of this paper is the syntax of inverse scope in Hungarian, a language that largely disambiguates quantifier scope at spell-out. Inverse scope is attributed to alternate orderings of potentially large chunks of structure, but with appeal to base-generation, as opposed to nonfeature-driven movement as in Kayne 1998. The proposal is developed within mirror theory and conforms to the assumption that structures are antisymmetrical. The paper also develops a matching notion of scope in terms of featural domination, as opposed (...)
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  9.  76
    Conjunction Meets Negation: A Study in Cross-Linguistic Variation.Anna Szabolcsi & Bill Haddican - 2004 - Journal of Semantics 21 (3):219-249.
    The central topic of this inquiry is a cross-linguistic contrast in the interaction of conjunction and negation. In Hungarian (Russian, Serbian, Italian, Japanese), in contrast to English (German), negated definite conjunctions are naturally and exclusively interpreted as `neither’. It is proposed that Hungarian-type languages conjunctions simply replicate the behavior of plurals, their closest semantic relatives. More puzzling is why English-type languages present a different range of interpretations. By teasing out finer distinctions in focus on connectives, syntactic structure, and context, the (...)
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  10. Certain Verbs Are Syntactically Explicit Quantifiers.Anna Szabolcsi - 2010 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 6 (1):5.
    Quantification over individuals, times, and worlds can in principle be made explicit in the syntax of the object language, or left to the semantics and spelled out in the meta-language. The traditional view is that quantification over individuals is syntactically explicit, whereas quantification over times and worlds is not. But a growing body of literature proposes a uniform treatment. This paper examines the scopal interaction of aspectual raising verbs (begin), modals (can), and intensional raising verbs (threaten) with quantificational subjects in (...)
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  11.  50
    Quantifier Particles and Compositionality.Anna Szabolcsi - 2013 - Proceedings of the 19th Amsterdam Colloquium.
    In many languages, the same particles build quantifier words and serve as connectives, additive and scalar particles, question markers, existential verbs, and so on. Do the roles of each particle form a natural class with a stable semantics? Are the particles aided by additional elements, overt or covert, in fulfilling their varied roles? I propose a unified analysis, according to which the particles impose partial ordering requirements (glb and lub) on the interpretations of their hosts and the immediate larger contexts, (...)
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  12.  88
    Quantifier Words and Their Multifunctional(?) Parts.Anna Szabolcsi, James Doh Whang & Vera Zu - 2014 - Language and Linguistics 15 (1).
    Formal semantic analyses often take words to be minimal building blocks for the purposes of compositionality. But various recent theories of morphology and syntax have converged on the view that there is no demarcation line corresponding to the word level. The same conclusion has emerged from the compositional semantics of superlatives. In the spirit of extending compositionality below the word level, this paper explores how a small set of particles (Japanese KA and MO, Chinese DOU, and Hungarian VALA/VAGY, MIND, and (...)
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  13.  48
    Direct Vs. Indirect Disjunction of Wh-Complements, as Diagnosed by Subordinating Complementizers (2016).Anna Szabolcsi - manuscript
    Since the early 1980s, there has been a debate in the semantics literature pertaining to whether wh-interrogatives can be directly disjoined, as main clauses and as complements. Those who held that the direct disjunction of wh-interrogatives was in conflict with certain theoretical considerations proposed that they could be disjoined indirectly. Indirect disjunction proceeds by first lifting both wh-interrogatives and then disjoining them; it assigns matrix-level scope to OR. As we will see, the notorious theoretical need for indirect disjunction has disappeared (...)
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  14. Hungarian Disjunctions and Positive Polarity.Anna Szabolcsi - 2002 - In Istvan Kenesei & Peter Siptar (eds.), Approaches to Hungarian, Vol. 8. Univ. of Szeged.
    The de Morgan laws characterize how negation, conjunction, and disjunction interact with each other. They are fundamental in any semantics that bases itself on the propositional calculus/Boolean algebra. This paper is primarily concerned with the second law. In English, its validity is easy to demonstrate using linguistic examples. Consider the following: (3) Why is it so cold in here? We didn’t close the door or the window. The second sentence is ambiguous. It may mean that I suppose we did not (...)
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  15.  38
    Weak Islands and an Algebraic Semantics for Scope Taking.Anna Szabolcsi & Frans Zwarts - 1993 - Natural Language Semantics 1 (3):235-284.
    Modifying the descriptive and theoretical generalizations of Relativized Minimality, we argue that a significant subset of weak island violations arise when an extracted phrase should scope over some intervener but is unable to. Harmless interveners seem harmless because they can support an alternative reading. This paper focuses on why certain wh-phrases are poor wide scope takers, and offers an algebraic perspective on scope interaction. Each scopal element SE is associated with certain operations (e.g., not with complements). When a wh-phrase scopes (...)
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  16. Binding On the Fly: Cross-Sentential Anaphora in Variable— Free Semantics.Anna Szabolcsi - 2003 - In R. Oehrle & J. Kruijff (eds.), Resource Sensitivity, Binding, and Anaphora. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 215--227.
    Combinatory logic (Curry and Feys 1958) is a “variable-free” alternative to the lambda calculus. The two have the same expressive power but build their expressions differently. “Variable-free” semantics is, more precisely, “free of variable binding”: it has no operation like abstraction that turns a free variable into a bound one; it uses combinators—operations on functions—instead. For the general linguistic motivation of this approach, see the works of Steedman, Szabolcsi, and Jacobson, among others. The standard view in linguistics is that reflexive (...)
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  17.  23
    Ways of Scope Taking.Anna Szabolcsi (ed.) - 1997 - Kluwer Academic Publishers.
    Ways of Scope Taking is concerned with syntactic, semantic and computational aspects of scope. Its starting point is the well-known but often neglected fact that different types of quantifiers interact differently with each other and other operators. The theoretical examination of significant bodies of data, both old and novel, leads to two central claims. (1) Scope is a by-product of a set of distinct Logical Form processes; each quantifier participates in those that suit its particular features. (2) Scope interaction is (...)
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  18.  85
    Presuppositional TOO, Postsuppositional TOO.Adrian Brasoveanu & Anna Szabolcsi - 2013 - The Dynamic, Inquisitive, and Visionary Life of Φ, ?Φ, and ◊Φ Subtitle: A Festschrift for Jeroen Groenendijk, Martin Stokhof, and Frank Veltman.
    One of the insights of dynamic semantics in its various guises (Kamp 1981, Heim 1982, Groenendijk & Stokhof 1991, Kamp & Reyle 1993 among many others) is that interpretation is sensitive to left-to-right order. Is order sensitivity, particularly the default left-to-right order of evaluation, a property of particular meanings of certain lexical items (e.g., dynamically interpreted conjunction) or is it a more general feature of meaning composition? If it is a more general feature of meaning composition, is it a processing (...)
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  19. Questions About Proof Theory Vis-À-Vis Natural Language Semantics (2007).Anna Szabolcsi - manuscript
    Semantics plays a role in grammar in at least three guises. (A) Linguists seek to account for speakers‘ knowledge of what linguistic expressions mean. This goal is typically achieved by assigning a model theoretic interpretation2 in a compositional fashion. For example, No whale flies is true if and only if the intersection of the sets of whales and fliers is empty in the model. (B) Linguists seek to account for the ability of speakers to make various inferences based on semantic (...)
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  20. Bound Variables in Syntax (Are There Any?).Anna Szabolcsi - 1987 - In J. Groenendijk, F. Veltman & M. Stokhof (eds.), Sixth Amsterdam Colloquium Proceedings. Univ of Amsterdam.
    Current theories of grammar handle both extraction and anaphorization by introducing variables into syntactic representations. Combinatory categorial grammar eliminates variables corresponding to gaps. Using the combinator W, the paper extends this approach to anaphors, which appear to act as overt bound variables. [Slightly extended version in Bartsch et al 1989.].
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  21. Model Theoretic Semantics of Performatives.Anna Szabolcsi - 1982 - In Ferenc Kiefer (ed.), Hungarian General Linguistics. Benjamins.
    [...] I will only investigate [Austin's] claims as challenges to present-day model theoretic semantics. My main point will be to draw a sharp line between the semantic and pragmatic aspects of performatives and thereby discover a gap in Austin’s treatment. This will in my view naturally lead to the proposal in Section 2, that is, to treating performatives as denoting changes in intensional models. The rest of Section 2 will be concerned with the status of felicity conditions and a tentative (...)
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  22. Overt Nominative Subjects in Infinitival Complements Cross-Linguistically: Data, Diagnostics, and Preliminary Analyses.Anna Szabolcsi - 2009 - NYU WPL in Syntax, Spring 2009, Ed. By Irwin and Vázquez Rojas. 2009. Http://Linguistics.As.Nyu.Edu/Object/Linguistics.Grad.Nyuwpl#Vol2.
    The typical habitat of overt nominative subjects is in finite clauses. But infinitival complements and infinitival adjuncts are also known to have overt nominative subjects, e.g. in Italian (Rizzi 1982), European Portuguese (Raposo 1987), and Spanish (Torrego 1998, Mensching 2000). The analyses make crucial reference to the movement of Aux or Infl to Comp, and to overt or covert infinitival inflection. This working paper is concerned with a novel set of data that appear to be of a different sort, in (...)
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  23. Introduction to Ways of Scope Taking.Anna Szabolcsi - 1997 - In Ways of Scope Taking. Kluwer Academic Publishers.
    Syntactic and semantic theories of quantificational phenomena traditionally treat all noun phrases alike, thus predicting that noun phrases exhibit a uniform behavior. It is well-known that this is an idealization: in any given case, some noun phrases will support a desired reading more readily than others. Anyone who has lectured on quantifier scope ambiguities to a class of unbrainwashed undergraduates will recall the amount of preparation time that goes into coming up with two or three examples that the class will (...)
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  24. The Semantics of Topic-Focus Articulation.Anna Szabolcsi - 1981 - In Jeroen Groenendijk (ed.), Formal methods in the study of language. U of Amsterdam. pp. 2--503.
  25. Scope and Binding.Anna Szabolcsi - 2011 - In von Heusinger, Maienborn & Portner (eds.), Semantics: An International Handbook of Natural Language Meaning, Vol. 2. de Gruyter Mouton.
    The first part of this article (Sections 1–5) focuses on the classical notions of scope and binding and their formal foundations. It argues that once their semantic core is properly understood, it can be implemented in various different ways: with or without movement, with or without variables. The second part (Sections 6–12) takes up the empirical issues that have redrawn the map in the past two decades. It turns out that scope is not a primitive. Existential scope and distributive scope (...)
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  26.  42
    Compositionality Without Word Boundaries: (The) More and (the) Most.Anna Szabolcsi - 2012 - Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) 22.
    This paper seeks to illustrate the advantages of not treating phonological words as distinguished building blocks in compositional semantics. Following Bobaljik 2012, we derive the relative readings of amount superlatives in two steps, [[[d-many] comparative] superlative]. The existence of two comparative constructions is revealed, involving more vs. the more. Each builds a different superlative construction, explaining the conflicting intuitions about superlatives in the literature, as well as puzzles relating to the definite article in superlatives.
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  27.  30
    Infinitives Vs. Subjunctives: What Do We Learn From Obviation and From Exemptions From Obviation? (2010).Anna Szabolcsi - manuscript
    Ruwet observed that subjunctives indicate a discontinuity between action and will, typically resulting in a disjoint reference effect known as obviation (unacceptable "Je veux que je parte"). In a certain set of cases, however, the attitude-holder can felicitously bind the pronominal subject of the subjunctive clause (exemption from obviation). This seminar handout examines the phenomenon in Hungarian, with additional data from Russian, Polish, and Romanian.
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  28.  79
    The Syntax of Scope.Anna Szabolcsi - 2000 - In Mark Baltin & Chris Collins (eds.), Handbook ... Syntax. Blackwell. pp. 607--633.
  29.  31
    Can Questions Be Directly Disjoined? (2015).Anna Szabolcsi - 2015
    Observe that complement questions can be either directly or indirectly conjoined, but they can only be indirectly disjoined. • What theories of questions and coordination predict this difference? • Look at Partition theory (Groenendijk & Stokhof 1984) and Inquisitive Semantics (Groenendijk & Roelofsen 2009, Ciardelli et al. 2012).
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  30.  75
    Compositionality in Focus.Anna Szabolcsi - 1982 - Folia Linguistica Europea 15:141-162.
    I believe that the validity of [the Fregean principle of compositionality] is beyond doubt and thus any grammar, whether organized to reflect [it] directly or not, may ultimately be required to satisfy it. One of the systems that are precisely designed to reflect [it] is Montague Grammar, where, technical details aside, it is realized as follows: (2) a. Sentences are composed by putting their constituents together step by step, with no subsequent rearrangement; b. Not only each lexical item but also (...)
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  31. Across-the-Board Binding Meets Verb Second.Anna Szabolcsi - 1990 - In M. Nespor & J. Mascaro (eds.), Grammar in progress. Foris.
    Right-node raising of anaphors and bound pronouns out of coordinations, as in "Every student likes, and every professor hates, himself / his neighbors" is judged more acceptable in German and Dutch than in English. Using combinatory categorial grammar, this paper ties the cross-linguistic difference to the fact that German and Dutch are V-2 languages, and V-2 necessitates a lifted category for verbs that automatically caters to the right-node raised duplicator. The same lifted category is optionally available in English, but it (...)
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  32.  81
    222 Years of Linguistics.Anna Szabolcsi - manuscript
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  33.  3
    Strict and Non-Strict Negative Concord in Hungarian: A Unified Analysis.Anna Szabolcsi - forthcoming - In Huba Bartos, Bánréti, M. Den Dikken & Váradi (eds.), Boundaries crossed, at the crossroads of morphosyntax, phonology, pragmatics and semantics (2017). Dordrecht: Springer.
    Surányi (2006) observed that Hungarian has a hybrid (strict + non-strict) negative concord system. This paper proposes a uniform analysis of that system within the general framework of Zeijlstra (2004, 2008) and, especially, Chierchia (2013), with the following new ingredients. Sentential negation NEM is the same full negation in the presence of both strict and non-strict concord items. Preverbal SENKI `n-one’ type negative concord items occupy the specifier position of either NEM `not' or SEM `nor'. The latter, SEM spells out (...)
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  34.  25
    How Unitary Are Intervention Effects? (2006).Anna Szabolcsi - manuscript
    The paper compares theories of how the intervention of quantifiers, negation, and focus block the relation between wh-expressions and their traces, with special reference to Szabolcsi & Zwarts 1993/1997, Honcoop 1998, and Beck 2006. It presents new cross-linguistic data that bear on Beck's focus intervention theory.
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  35. Overt Nominative Subjects in Infinitival Complements in Hungarian.Anna Szabolcsi - 2009 - In Marcel den Dikken & Robert Vago (eds.), Approaches to Hungarian 11. John Benjamins. pp. 251–276.
    We argue that the infinitival complements of subject-control and subject-to-subject raising verbs in Hungarian can have overt nominative subjects. The infinitival subject status of these DPs is diagnosed by constituent order, binding properties, and scope interpretation. Long-distance Agree(ment) and multiple agreement are crucial to their overtness.
     
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  36.  6
    Quantifiers in Pair-List Readings.Anna Szabolcsi - 1997 - In Ways of Scope Taking. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 311--347.
    Section 1 provides a brief summary of the pair-list literature singling out some points that are particularly relevant for the coming discussion. -/- Section 2 shows that the dilemma of quantifi cation versus domain restriction arises only in extensional complement interrogatives. In matrix questions and in intensional complements only universals support pairlist readings, whence the simplest domain restriction treatment suffices. Related data including conjunction, disjunction, and cumulative readings are discussed -/- Section 3 argues that in the case of extensional complements (...)
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  37.  17
    Variation, Distributivity, and the Illusion of Branching.Filippo Beghelli, Dorit Ben-Shalom & Anna Szabolcsi - 1997 - In Anna Szabolcsi (ed.), Ways of Scope Taking. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 29--69.
    We show in rather informal terms how witness sets can be useful in both explicating some basic intuitions about scope and understanding how particular denotational semantic differences between noun phrases affect their abilities to bear out certain scopal patterns. More generally we suggest that the usual notion of scope needs to be factored into variation distributivity and maximality. This part lays some groundwork for several of the subsequent chapters and is thus of interest to all readers. The second part shows (...)
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  38.  26
    Quantification and ACD: What is the Evidence From Real-Time Processing Evidence For? A Response to Hackl Et Al. (2012).Anna Szabolcsi - 2013 - Journal of Semantics (1):ffs025.
    Hackl et al. (2012) argue that processing evidence specifically supports a theory of Antecedent Contained Deletion (ACD) that involves the threat of type-mismatch and infinite regress, with Quantifier Raising (QR) coming to the rescue. This squib argues that the processing evidence does not specifically support that theory. Very similar predictions can be made by the variable-free, or combinatory, theory that Hackl et al. dismiss, if we add the assumption that ACD is resolved by binding, not by simple anaphora.
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  39.  43
    Optionality, Scope, and Licensing: An Application of Partially Ordered Categories.Raffaella Bernardi & Anna Szabolcsi - 2008 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 17 (3):237-283.
    This paper uses a partially ordered set of syntactic categories to accommodate optionality and licensing in natural language syntax. A complex but well-studied data set pertaining to the syntax of quantifier scope and negative polarity licensing in Hungarian is used to illustrate the proposal. The presentation is geared towards both linguists and logicians. The paper highlights that the main ideas can be implemented in different grammar formalisms, and discusses in detail an implementation where the partial ordering on categories is given (...)
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  40.  35
    New Directions for Proof Theory in Linguistics. ESSLLI 2007 Course Reader.Anna Szabolcsi & Chris Barker - manuscript
  41.  13
    Background Notions in Lattice Theory and Generalized Quantifiers.Anna Szabolcsi - 1997 - In Ways of Scope Taking. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 1--27.
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  42.  13
    The Effect of Negative Polarity Items on Inference Verification.Anna Szabolcsi, Lewis Bott & Brian McElree - 2008 - Journal of Semantics 25 (4):411-450.
    The scalar approach to negative polarity item (NPI) licensing assumes that NPIs are allowable in contexts in which the introduction of the NPI leads to proposition strengthening (e.g., Kadmon & Landman 1993, Krifka 1995, Lahiri 1997, Chierchia 2006). A straightforward processing prediction from such a theory is that NPI’s facilitate inference verification from sets to subsets. Three experiments are reported that test this proposal. In each experiment, participants evaluated whether inferences from sets to subsets were valid. Crucially, we manipulated whether (...)
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  43.  16
    Hidden in Plain Sight: Overt Subjects in Infinitival Control and Raising Complements, 2007-2009.Anna Szabolcsi - manuscript
  44. Overt Infinitival Subjects (If That's What They Are).Anna Szabolcsi - 2005 - In Broekhuis (ed.), The Organization of Grammar. Mouton--de Gruyter.
    Krifka (1998) argues that stressed postposed additive particles associate with a clausemate constrastive topic, which need not be overt as long as it satisfies the appropriate contextual role. English too is stressed. Of the two Hungarian particles, szintén is stressed, is is not.
     
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