Rigid and flexible quantification in plural predicate logic

Semantics and Linguistic Theory 27 (forthcoming)
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Noun phrases with overt determiners, such as <i>some apples</i> or <i>a quantity of milk</i>, differ from bare noun phrases like <i>apples</i> or <i>milk</i> in their contribution to aspectual composition. While this has been attributed to syntactic or algebraic properties of these noun phrases, such accounts have explanatory shortcomings. We suggest instead that the relevant property that distinguishes between the two classes of noun phrases derives from two modes of existential quantification, one of which holds the values of a variable fixed throughout a quantificational context while the other allows them to vary. Inspired by Dynamic Plural Logic and Dependence Logic, we propose Plural Predicate Logic as an extension of Predicate Logic to formalize this difference. We suggest that temporal <i>for</i>-adverbials are sensitive to aspect because of the way they manipulate quantificational contexts, and that analogous manipulations occur with spatial <i>for</i>-adverbials, habituals, and the quantifier <i>all</i>.

Author Profiles

Lucas Champollion
New York University
Justin Bledin
Johns Hopkins University


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