5 found
  1. Donkeys Under Discussion.Lucas Champollion, Dylan Bumford & Robert Henderson - forthcoming - Semantics and Pragmatics.
    Donkey sentences have existential and universal readings, but they are not often perceived as ambiguous. We extend the pragmatic theory of nonmaximality in plural definites by Križ (2016) to explain how context disambiguates donkey sentences. We propose that the denotations of such sentences produce truth-value gaps — in certain scenarios the sentences are neither true nor false — and demonstrate that Križ’s pragmatic theory fills these gaps to generate the standard judgments of the literature. Building on Muskens’s (1996) Compositional Discourse (...)
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    Split-Scope Definites: Relative Superlatives and Haddock Descriptions.Dylan Bumford - 2017 - Linguistics and Philosophy 40 (6):549-593.
    This paper argues for a particular semantic decomposition of morphological definiteness. I propose that the meaning of ‘the’ comprises two distinct compositional operations. The first builds a set of witnesses that satisfy the restricting noun phrase. The second tests this set for uniqueness. The motivation for decomposing the denotation of the definite determiner in this way comes from split-scope intervention effects. The two components—the selection of witnesses on the one hand and the counting of witnesses on the other—may take effect (...)
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    Association with Distributivity and the Problem of Multiple Antecedents for Singular Different.Dylan Bumford & Chris Barker - 2013 - Linguistics and Philosophy 36 (5):355-369.
    Brasoveanu (Linguist Philos 34:93–168, 2011) argues that “different” exhibits what he calls association with distributivity: a distributive operator such as “each” creates a two-part context that propagates through the compositional semantics in a way that can be accessed by a subordinate “different”. We show that Brasoveanu’s analysis systematically undergenerates, failing to provide interpretations of sentences such as “Every1 boy claimed every girl read a different1 poem”, in which “different” can associate with a non-local distributive operator. We provide a generalized version (...)
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    Polymorphic distributivity.Dylan Bumford - forthcoming - Natural Language Semantics:1-30.
    This article describes a novel pattern of interpretations associated with universal determiners like ‘each’ and ‘every’. It is demonstrated that these canonically distributive quantifiers can give rise to surprising collective readings when they quantify into sub-clausal constituents, especially other Determiner Phrases. For instance, ‘two cards from each player’ can be understood to pick out a single assorted deck of cards, one whose contents co-vary with the players. Yet this deck as a whole may be said to participate in a range (...)
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    Composition Under Distributive Natural Transformations: Or, When Predicate Abstraction is Impossible.Dylan Bumford - forthcoming - Journal of Logic, Language and Information:1-21.
    Natural language semanticists have often found it useful to assume that all expressions denote sets of values. The approach is most prominent in the study of questions and prosodic focus, but also common in work on indefinites, disjunction, negative polarity, and scalar implicature. However, the most popular compositional implementation of this idea is known to face technical obstacles in the presence of object-language binding constructs, including, chiefly, lambda abstraction. The problem has been well-described on several occasions in the literature, and (...)
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