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.
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 (...) of quantifier words. (shrink)
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 (...) alternatives (focus, subdomain, scalar) and invoke suitably different further operators. (shrink)
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 (...) assigned a stable semantics across their various roles. The specific analysis I offer is motivated by the fact that MO and KA often combine with just one argument; I propose that this is their characteristic behavior. Their role is to impose semantic requirements that are satisfied when the immediately larger context is interpreted as the meet/join of their host’s semantic contribution with something else. They do not perform meet/join themselves. The obligatory vs. optional appearance of the particles depends on whether the meet/join interpretations arise by default in the given constellation. I explicate the proposal using the toolkit of basic Inquisitive Semantics. (shrink)
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.
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 (...) ever-type NPIs: what appears to be a prohibition is nothing but “halfway licensing”. The paper goes on to propose a unification of the analyses of rescuable PPIs, NPIs, and negative concord, and questions the grounding of polarity sensitivity in the scalar or the referential semantics of the items involved. (shrink)
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 (...) to c-command, and applies it to otherwise problematic cases of pied piping. Finally, the interaction of different quantifier types is examined and the patterns are explained invoking morphological considerations on one hand and A-bar reconstruction on the other. (shrink)
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 (...) paper tracks down missing readings and argues that it is eventually not necessary to postulate a radical cross-linguistic semantic difference. In the course of making that argument it is observed that negated conjunctions on the `neither’ reading carry the expectation that the predicate hold of both conjuncts. The paper investigates several hypotheses concerning the source of this expectation. (shrink)
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 (...) Shupamem, Dutch, and English. It appears that aspectual raising verbs and at least modals may undergo the same kind of overt or covert scope-changing operations as nominal quantifiers; the case of intensional raising verbs is less clear. Scope interaction is thus shown to be a new potential diagnostic of object-linguistic quantification, and the similarity in the scope behavior of nominal and verbal quantifiers supports the grammatical plausibility of ontological symmetry, explored in Schlenker (2006). (shrink)
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, (...) but do not embody algebraic operations themselves. (shrink)
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 (...) IS) form quantifier words and serve as connectives, additive and scalar particles, question markers, and existential verbs. The main question is whether the meanings of these particles across the varied environments are highly regular, or they are lexicalized with a variety of different meanings that bear a family resemblance. This paper does not reach definitive conclusions, but it raises analytical possibilities using Boolean semantics and the semantics of alternatives. It also draws attention to systematic similarities and some differences between MO and DOU that have not been studied in the literature. (shrink)
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 (...) by today. But the factual question remains. Are wh-complements disjoined directly or indirectly? What is the fact of the matter? This paper argues that the case for indirect disjunction remains reasonably strong. (shrink)
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 (...) close the door or did not close the window, but I am not sure which. This `I am not sure which’ reading is irrelevant to us because it has disjunction scoping over negation. But the sentence may equally well mean (and indeed this is the preferred reading) that we didn’t close the door and did not close the window. This `neither’ reading bears out de Morgan law (2). (shrink)
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 (...) over some SE, the operations associated with that SE are performed in its denotation domain. The requisite operations may or may not be available in a domain, however. We present an empirical analysis of a variety of wh-phrases. It is argued that the wh-phrases that escape all weak islands (i.e., can scope over any intervener) are those that range over individuals, the reason being that all Boolean operations are defined for their domain. Collectives, manners, amounts, numbers, etc. all denote in domains with fewer operations and are thus selectively sensitive to scopal interveners—a “semantic relativized minimality effect”. (shrink)
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 (...) and personal pronouns are free variables that get bound by an antecedent through some coindexing mechanism. In variable free semantics the same task is performed by some combinator that identifies two arguments of the function it operates on (a duplicator). This combinator may be built into the lexical semantics of the pronoun, into that of the antecedent, or it may be a free-floating operation applicable to predicates or larger chunks of texts, i.e. a typeshifter. This note is concerned with the case of cross-sentential anaphora. It adopts Hepple’s and Jacobson’s interpretation of pronouns as identity maps and asks how this can be extended to the cross-sentential case, assuming the dynamic semantic view of anaphora. It first outlines the possibility of interpreting indefinites that antecede non-ccommanded pronouns as existential quantifiers enriched with a duplicator. Then it argues that it is preferable to use the duplicator as a type-shifter that applies “on the fly”. The proposal has consequences for two central ingredients of the classical dynamic semantic treatment: it does away with abstraction over assignments and with treating indefinites as inherently existentially quantified. However, cross-sentential anaphora remains a matter of binding, and the idea of propositions as context change potentials is retained. (shrink)
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 (...) further constrained by the semantics of the interacting operators. The arguments are developed using Minimalist syntax, Generalized Quantify theory, Discourse Representation Theory, and algebraic semantics. The contributors (Beghelli, Ben-Shalom, Doetjes, Farkas, Gutiérrez Rexach, Honcoop, Stabler, Stowell, Szabolcsi and Zwarts) make tightly related theoretical assumptions and focus on related empirical phenomena, which include the direct and inverse scope of quantifiers, distributivity, negation, modal and intensional contexts, weak islands, event-related readings, interrogatives, wh/quantifier interactions, and Hungarian syntax. An introduction to the formal semantics background is provided. Audience: Linguists, philosophers, computational and psycholinguists; advanced undergraduates, graduate students and researchers in these fields. (shrink)
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 (...) ‘preference’ or should it be captured as a ‘harder’ constraint on the type of meanings and operations over meanings involved in natural language interpretation? This squib draws attention to the symmetrical A-too B-too construction (found in a variety of languages, e.g., Hungarian, Japanese, Romanian, Russian) in this context. It argues that any semantic analysis of its main ‘symmetrical-meaning’ characteristic should also allow for subtler interactions between this construction and items that are clearly sensitive to evaluation-order effects, e.g., anaphoric adjectives like next and other. We suggest that the notion of postsupposition embedded in a broader dynamic framework is better able to account for both the symmetric nature of this construction, its non-symmetric variant A-too, and its interaction with items that are evaluation-order sensitive. We briefly compare this proposal with a couple of possible alternative accounts. (shrink)
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 (...) knowledge. For example, No whale flies entails No blue whale flies and No whale flies high. (C) The wellformedness of a variety of syntactic constructions depends on morpho-syntactic features with a semantic flavor. For example, Under no circumstances would a whale fly is grammatical, whereas Under some circumstances would a whale fly is not, corresponding to the downward vs. upward monotonic features of the preposed phrases. (shrink)
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.].
[...] 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 (...) extension of Montague’s PTQ. (shrink)
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 (...) that they probably do not depend on either rich infinitival inflection or on movement to C. (shrink)
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 (...) judge to be ambiguous in exactly the ways the theory under discussion predicts. The same experience with ``good citizens'' and ``bad citizens'' repeats itself in connection with branching, anaphora, distributive versus collective readings, extraction, event quantification, pair-list questions, and so on. (shrink)
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 (...) have to be distinguished, leaving few if any run-of-the-mill quantifiers. Scope behavior is also not uniform. At least three classes of expressions emerge: indefinites, distributive universals, and counters. Likewise, the bound variable interpretation of pronouns is joined by co-variation with situations. As a result, the classical notions of scope and binding are likely to end up as building blocks in the varied mechanisms at work in “scope phenomena” and “binding phenomena”, and not as self-contained analyses of those phenomena. (shrink)
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.
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.
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).
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 (...) each rule of composition is assigned an explicit interpretation; c. Interpretation is given in terms of model theory: the denotation conditions of expressions are defined relative to a mathematical construct which, loosely speaking, models the relevant aspects of the world talked about. (shrink)
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 (...) is not needed for independent syntactic purposes. (shrink)
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 (...) IS `too, even’ in the immediate scope of negation; it is a focus-sensitive head on the clausal spine. SEM can be seen as an overt counterpart of the phonetically null head that Chierchia dubs NEG; it is capable of invoking an abstract (disembodied) negation at the edge of its projection. (shrink)
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.
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.
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 (...) the domain restriction treatment is inadequate for at least two independent reasons. One has to do with the fact that not only upward monotonic quantifi ers support pairlist readings, and the other with the derivation of apparent scope out readings. The reasoning is supplemented with some discussion of the semantic properties of layered quantifi ers. The above will establish the need for quantifi cation, so the question arises how the objections explicitly enlisted in the literature against quantifi cation can be answered. Section 4 considers the de dicto reading of the quantifi er s restriction, quanti cational variability, and the absence of pairlist readings with whether questions, and argues that they need not militate against the quanti ficational analysis. -/- Section 5 summarizes the emergent proposal -/- Finally, section 6 discusses the signifi cance of the above findings for the behavior of weak islands. (shrink)
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 (...) that already in this initial raw form the above insights can be applied to make a novel claim concerning the availability of so-called branching readings. In logical terms a branching reading can be defined for any sentence with a subject and a direct object. However speakers of English accept only a fraction of these readings, so the question arises how the data can be predicted from the meanings of the participating quantifiers and the syntactic structure of the sentence. We propose that thinking about the behavior of quantifiers along the lines introduced in the first part leads to a simple answer to this question. (shrink)
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.
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 (...) by the derivability relation of a calculus with residuated and Galois-connected unary operators. (shrink)
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 (...) the premises contained an NPI. In Experiment 1, participants completed a metalinguistic reasoning task, and Experiments 2 and 3 tested reading times using a self-paced reading task. Contrary to expectations, no facilitation was observed when the NPI was present in the premise compared to when it was absent. In fact, the NPI significantly slowed down reading times in the inference region. Our results therefore favor those scalar theories that predict that the NPI is costly to process (Chierchia 2006), or other, nonscalar theories (Giannakidou 1998, Ladusaw 1992, Postal 2005, Szabolcsi 2004) that likewise predict NPI processing cost but, unlike Chierchia (2006), expect the magnitude of the processing cost to vary with the actual pragmatics of the NPI. (shrink)
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.