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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. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. Certain Verbs Are Syntactically Explicit Quantifiers.Anna Szabolcsi - 2011 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 6:5.
    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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  7. 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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  8.  66
    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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  9. 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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  10.  36
    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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  11. 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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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16.  63
    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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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19.  62
    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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  20. 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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