Something out of Nothing: The Semantics and Pragmatics of Implicit Quantification


Some sentences contain no overt quantifier, yet are interpreted quantificationally, e.g., Plumbers are available (entailing that some plumbers are available), or Plumbers are intelligent (whose entailment is less clear, but seems to be saying that a large number of plumbers are intelligent). Where does the quantifier come from? In this book, Ariel Cohen makes the novel proposal that the quantifier is not simply an empty category, but is generated by reinterpretations mechanisms, which are governed by well specified principles. He demonstrates how the puzzling and sometimes mysterious properties of such sentences can be naturally derived from the reinterpretation mechanisms that generate them. The resulting picture has substantial implications that language contains hidden elements, underlying its surface structure.

Prices from (excl. shipping):

Add to Cart
Ariel Cohen, Ph.D. (1996), Carnegie-Mellon University, is Associate Professor of Linguistics at Ben-Gurion University, Israel. He has published extensively on semantics, pragmatics, and philosophy of language. His is the author of Think Generic, CSLI Publications (1999).
1 What You See Is Not Always What You Get

2 Reinterpretation Mechanisms
 1 Reinterpretation
 2 Type-Shifting
 3 Predicate transfer

3 Bare Plurals
 1 The Ambiguity of Bare Plurals
 2 A Non-quantificational Theory?
 3 Quantificational Accounts of English Bare Plurals
 4 Kinds or Properties?
 5 A Synthesis
 6 Deciding between the Theories

4 Beyond English Bare Plurals
 1 Italian Bare Plurals: Direct Kind Predication
 2 Definites and Type-Shifting
 3 Italian BP s: Existential Readings
 4 Italian BP s: Characterizing Generics
 5 An Account of Italian BP s
 6 Hungarian Bare Plurals
 7 Bare Singulars
 8 Conclusion

5 Generics and Habituals
 1 Generics and Scope
 2 Habituals and Scope
 3 Types of Explanation
 4 Reinterpretation Mechanisms Revisited
 5 The Generic Quantifier
 6 Generics
 7 Habituals

6 Iterativity
 1 Durative Adverbials
 2 The Origins of Iterativity
 3 Iterativity and Scope
 4 Alternative Explanations
 5 Iterativity as a Quantifier

7 The Nature of Implicit Quantification
 1 Two Implicit Quantifiers
 2 A Preference for Inference

Researchers and advanced graduate students who are interested in semantics, pragmatics, or philosophy of language.
  • Collapse
  • Expand