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Compositionality without word boundaries: (the) more and (the) most

Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) 22 (2012)

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  1. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 9.Emar Maier, Corien Bary & Janneke Huitink (eds.) - 2005 - Nijmegen Centre for Semantics.
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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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  • Generalized Update Semantics.Simon Goldstein - 2019 - Mind 128 (511):795-835.
    This paper explores the relationship between dynamic and truth conditional semantics for epistemic modals. It provides a generalization of a standard dynamic update semantics for modals. This new semantics derives a Kripke semantics for modals and a standard dynamic semantics for modals as special cases. The semantics allows for new characterizations of a variety of principles in modal logic, including the inconsistency of ‘p and might not p’. Finally, the semantics provides a construction procedure for transforming any truth conditional semantics (...)
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  • Experimental Investigations of Ambiguity: The Case of Most.Hadas Kotek, Yasutada Sudo & Martin Hackl - 2015 - Natural Language Semantics 23 (2):119-156.
    In the study of natural language quantification, much recent attention has been devoted to the investigation of verification procedures associated with the proportional quantifier most. The aim of these studies is to go beyond the traditional characterization of the semantics of most, which is confined to explicating its truth-functional and presuppositional content as well as its combinatorial properties, as these aspects underdetermine the correct analysis of most. The present paper contributes to this effort by presenting new experimental evidence in support (...)
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  • Constraints on the Lexicalization of Logical Operators.Roni Katzir & Raj Singh - 2013 - Linguistics and Philosophy 36 (1):1-29.
    We revisit a typological puzzle due to Horn (Doctoral Dissertation, UCLA, 1972) regarding the lexicalization of logical operators: in instantiations of the traditional square of opposition across categories and languages, the O corner, corresponding to ‘nand’ (= not and), ‘nevery’ (= not every), etc., is never lexicalized. We discuss Horn’s proposal, which involves the interaction of two economy conditions, one that relies on scalar implicatures and one that relies on markedness. We observe that in order to express markedness and to (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Scopability and Sluicing.Chris Barker - 2013 - Linguistics and Philosophy 36 (3):187-223.
    This paper analyzes sluicing as anaphora to an anti-constituent (a continuation), that is, to the semantic remnant of a clause from which a subconstituent has been removed. For instance, in Mary said that [John saw someone yesterday], but she didn’t say who, the antecedent clause is John saw someone yesterday, the subconstituent targeted for removal is someone, and the ellipsis site following who is anaphoric to the scope remnant John saw ___ yesterday. I provide a compositional syntax and semantics on (...)
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  • On the Identification of Quantifiers' Witness Sets: A Study of Multi-Quantifier Sentences.Livio Robaldo, Jakub Szymanik & Ben Meijering - 2014 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 23 (1):53-81.
    Natural language sentences that talk about two or more sets of entities can be assigned various readings. The ones in which the sets are independent of one another are particularly challenging from the formal point of view. In this paper we will call them ‘Independent Set (IS) readings’. Cumulative and collective readings are paradigmatic examples of IS readings. Most approaches aiming at representing the meaning of IS readings implement some kind of maximality conditions on the witness sets involved. Two kinds (...)
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