Search results for: quantification-a-cross-linguistic-perspective


Author : Lisa Matthewson
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This volume presents articles by formal linguists on quantification in (relatively) understudied languages. The ten contributions provide analysis of quantificational phenomena in languages from nine different families: Eskimo-Aleut, Algonquian, Na-Dene, Austronesian, Basque, Quechua, Otomanguean, Bantu, and Chadic. Approximately half of the papers present systematic overviews of quantificational phenomena in the respective languages; the remainder of the papers present theoretical analyses of specific quantificational constructions. The cross-linguistic focus of this volume enables standard theories of quantification to be challenged by languages other than those for which they were originally designed. This book will be of interest to semanticists and syntacticians working on quantification, to specialists in the languages discussed, and to semantic and syntactic fieldworkers.

Locality in WH Quantification

Author : Veneeta Dayal
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Locality in WH Quantification argues that Logical Form, the level that mediates between syntax and semantics, is derived from S-structure by strictly local movement. The primary data for the claim of locality at LF is drawn from Hindi but English data is used in discussing the semantics of questions and relative clauses. The book takes a cross-linguistic perspective showing how the Hindi and English facts can be brought to bear on the theory of universal grammar. There are several phenomena generally thought to involve long-distance dependencies at LF, such as scope marking, long-distance list answers and correlatives. In this book they are handled by explicating novel types of local relationships that interrogative and relative clauses can enter. Amore articulated semantics is shown leading to a simpler syntax. Among other issues addressed is the switch from uniqueness/maximality effects in single WH constructions to list readings in multiple WH constructions. These effects are captured by adapting the treatment of WH expressions as quantifying over functions to the cases of multiple WH questions and correlatives. List readings due to functional dependencies are systematically distinguished from those that are based on plurality.


Author : Veneeta Dayal
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This book synthesizes and integrates 40 years of research on the semantics of questions, and its interface with pragmatics and syntax, conducted within the formal semantics tradition. A wide range of topics are covered, including weak-strong exhaustiveness, maximality, functional answers, single-multiple-trapped list answers, embedding predicates, quantificational variability, concealed questions, weak islands, polar and alternative questions, negative polarity, and non-canonical questions. The literature on this rich set of topics, theoretically diverse and scattered across multiple venues, is often hard to assimilate. Veneeta Dayal, drawing on her own research, brings them together for the first time in a coherent, concise, and well-structured whole. Each chapter begins with a non-technical introduction to the issues discussed; semantically sophisticated accounts are then presented incrementally, with the major points summarized at the end of each section. Written in an accessible style, this book provides both a guide to one of the most vibrant areas of research in natural language and an account of how this area of study is developing. It will be a unique resource for the novice and expert alike, and seeks to appeal to a variety of readers without compromising depth and breadth of coverage.

Cross linguistic Semantics of Tense Aspect and Modality

Author : Lotte Hogeweg
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In recent years, we have witnessed, on the one hand, an increased interest in cross-linguistic data in formal semantic studies, and, on the other hand, an increased concern for semantic issues in language typology. However, only few studies combine semantic and typological research for a particular semantic domain (such as the papers in Bach et al. (1995) on quantification and Smith (1997) on aspect). This book brings together formal semanticists with a cross-linguistic perspective and/or those working on lesser-known languages, and typologists interested in semantic theory, to discuss semantic variation in the specific domain of Tense, Aspect, and Mood/Modality.

The Routledge Handbook of North American Languages

Author : Daniel Siddiqi
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The Routledge Handbook of North American Languages is a one-stop reference for linguists on those topics that come up the most frequently in the study of the languages of North America (including Mexico). This handbook compiles a list of contributors from across many different theories and at different stages of their careers, all of whom are well-known experts in North American languages. The volume comprises two distinct parts: the first surveys some of the phenomena most frequently discussed in the study of North American languages, and the second surveys some of the most frequently discussed language families of North America. The consistent goal of each contribution is to couch the content of the chapter in contemporary theory so that the information is maximally relevant and accessible for a wide range of audiences, including graduate students and young new scholars, and even senior scholars who are looking for a crash course in the topics. Empirically driven chapters provide fundamental knowledge needed to participate in contemporary theoretical discussions of these languages, making this handbook an indispensable resource for linguistics scholars.

Cantonese Particles and Affixal Quantification

Author : Peppina Po-lun Lee
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Cantonese, the lingua franca of Hong Kong and its neighboring province, has an unusually rich repertoire of verbal particles. This volume significantly augments the academic literature on their semantics, focusing on three affixal quantifiers, -saai, -hoi and -maai. The author shows how these verbal suffixes display a unique interplay of syntax and semantics: used in a sentence with no focus, they quantify items flexibly, according to an accessibility hierarchy; with focus, focus comes into effect after syntactic selection. This fresh and compelling perspective in the study of particles and quantification is the first in-depth analysis of Cantonese verbal suffixes. It compares the language’s affixal quantification to the alternative determiner and adverbial quantifiers. The book’s syntax-semantics mapping geography deploys both descriptive and theoretical approaches, making it an essential resource for researchers studying the nexus of syntax and semantics, as well as Cantonese itself.


Author : Anna Szabolcsi
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Quantification forms a significant aspect of cross-linguistic research into both sentence structure and meaning. This book surveys research in quantification starting with the foundational work in the 1970s. It paints a vivid picture of generalized quantifiers and Boolean semantics. It explains how the discovery of diverse scope behaviour in the 1990s transformed the view of quantification, and how the study of the internal composition of quantifiers has become central in recent years. It presents different approaches to the same problems, and links modern logic and formal semantics to advances in generative syntax. A unique feature of the book is that it systematically brings cross-linguistic data to bear on the theoretical issues, covering French, German, Dutch, Hungarian, Russian, Japanese, Telugu (Dravidian), and Shupamem (Grassfield Bantu) and points to formal semantic literature involving quantification in around thirty languages.

African linguistics across the disciplines

Author : Samuel Gyasi Obeng
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Since the hiring of its first Africanist linguist Carleton Hodge in 1964, Indiana University’s Department of Linguistics has had a strong and continuing presence in the study of African languages and linguistics through the work of its faculty and of its graduates on the faculties of many other universities. Research on African linguistics at IU has covered some of the major language groups spoken on the African continent. Carleton Hodge’s work on Ancient Egyptian and Hausa, Paul Newman’s work on Hausa and Chadic languages, and Roxanna Ma Newman’s work on Hausa language structure and pedagogy have been some of the most important studies on Afro-Asiatic linguistics. With respect to Niger-Congo languages, the work of Charles Bird on Bambara and the Mande languages, Robert Botne’s work on Bantu structure (especially tense and aspect), Samuel Obeng and Colin Painter’s work on Ghanaian Languages (phonetics, phonology, and pragmatics), Robert Port’s studies on Swahili, and Erhard Voeltz's studies on Bantu linguistics are considered some of the most influential studies in the sub-field. On Nilo Saharan languages, the work of Tim Shopen on Songhay stands out. IU Linguistics has also forwarded theoretical work on African languages, such as John Goldsmith’s seminal research on tone in African languages. The African linguistics faculty at IU have either founded or edited important journals in African Studies, African languages, and African linguistics, including Africa Today, Studies in African Linguistics, and Journal of African Languages and Linguistics. In 1972, the Indiana University Department of Linguistics hosted the Third Annual Conference of African Linguistics. Proceedings of that conference were published by Indiana University Publications (African Series, vol. 7). In 1986, IU hosted the Seventeenth Annual Conference of African Linguistics with Paul Newman and Robert Botne editing the proceedings in a volume entitled Current Approaches to African Linguistics, vol. 5. In 2016, Indiana University hosted the 48th Annual Conference on African Linguistics with the theme African Linguistics Across the Disciplines. Proceedings of that meeting are published in this volume. The papers presented in this volume reflect the diversity of opportunities for language study in Africa. This collection of descriptive and theoretical work is the fruit of data gathering both in-country and abroad by researchers of languages spoken across the continent, from Sereer-sin in the west to Somali in the northeast to Ikalanga in the south. The range of topics in this volume is also broad, representative of the varied field work in country and abroad that inspires research in African linguistics. This collection of papers spans the disciplines of phonology (both segmental and suprasegmental), morphology (both morphophonological and morphosyntactic), syntax, semantics, and language policy. The data and analyses presented in this volume offer a cross-disciplinary view of linguistic topics from the many under-resourced languages of Africa.

Quantification in Natural Languages

Author : Elke Bach
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This volume of papers grew out of a research project on "Cross-Linguistic Quantification" originated by Emmon Bach, Angelika Kratzer and Barbara Partee in 1987 at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and supported by National Science Foundation Grant BNS 871999. The publication also reflects directly or indirectly several other related activ ities. Bach, Kratzer, and Partee organized a two-evening symposium on cross-linguistic quantification at the 1988 Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America in New Orleans (held without financial support) in order to bring the project to the attention of the linguistic community and solicit ideas and feedback from colleagues who might share our concern for developing a broader typological basis for research in semantics and a better integration of descriptive and theoretical work in the area of quantification in particular. The same trio organized a six-week workshop and open lecture series and related one-day confer ence on the same topic at the 1989 LSA Linguistic Institute at the University of Arizona in Tucson, supported by a supplementary grant, NSF grant BNS-8811250, and Partee offered a seminar on the same topic as part of the Institute course offerings. Eloise Jelinek, who served as a consultant on the principal grant and was a participant in the LSA symposium and the Arizona workshops, joined the group of editors for this volume in 1989.

Majority Quantification and Quantity Superlatives

Author : Carmen Dobrovie-Sorin
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This book investigates the syntax and semantics of proportional most and other majority quantifiers across a wide range of languages. The findings have implications for the study of a variety of crucial issues in linguistic theory, including number marking, partitivity, kind reference, and (in)definiteness marking.

Strategies of Quantification

Author : Kook-Hee Gil
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Quantification has been at the heart of research in the syntax and semantics of natural language since Aristotle. The last few decades have seen an explosion of detailed studies of the syntax and semantics of quantification and its relation to the rest of the theory of grammar, resulting in a highly sophisticated understanding of the mechanisms of quantification. This book considers the ways natural languages vary with respect to their realisation of quantificational notions. Drawing on data from English, German, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Hausa and others, the authors also link the variation in the expression of quantification to the notions of polarity sensitivity, free-choice and indefiniteness.

Context Dependence Perspective and Relativity

Author : Francois Recanati
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This volume brings together original papers by linguists and philosophers on the role of context and perspective in language and thought. Several contributions are concerned with the contextualism/relativism debate, which has loomed large in recent philosophical discussions. In a substantial introduction, the editors survey the field and map out the relevant issues and positions.

Handbook of Quantifiers in Natural Language

Author : Denis Paperno
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This work presents the structure, distribution and semantic interpretation of quantificational expressions in languages from diverse language families and typological profiles. The current volume pays special attention to underrepresented languages of different status and endangerment level. Languages covered include American and Russian Sign Languages, and sixteen spoken languages from Africa, Australia, Papua, the Americas, and different parts of Asia. The articles respond to a questionnaire the editors constructed to enable detailed crosslinguistic comparison of numerous features. They offer comparable information on semantic classes of quantifiers (generalized existential, generalized universal, proportional, partitive), syntactically complex quantifiers (intensive modification, Boolean compounds, exception phrases, etc.), and several more specific issues such as quantifier scope ambiguities, floating quantifiers, and binary (type 2) quantifiers. The book is intended for semanticists, logicians interested in quantification in natural language, and general linguists as articles are meant to be descriptive and theory independent. The book continues and expands the coverage of the Handbook of Quantifiers in Natural Language (2012) by the same editors, and extends the earlier work in Matthewson (2008), Gil et al. (2013) and Bach et al (1995).

Handbook of Quantifiers in Natural Language

Author : Edward Keenan
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Covering a strikingly diverse range of languages from 12 linguistic families, this handbook is based on responses to a questionnaire constructed by the editors. Focusing on the formation, distribution and semantic interpretation of quantificational expressions, the book explores 17 languages including German, Italian, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, Malagasy, Hebrew, Pima, Basque, and more. The language data sets enable detailed crosslinguistic comparison of numerous features. These include semantic classes of quantifiers (generalized existential, generalized universal, proportional, partitive), syntactically complex quantifiers (intensive modification, Boolean compounding, exception phrases) and several others such as quantifier scope ambiguities, quantifier float, and binary quantifiers. Its theory-independent content extends earlier work by Matthewson (2008) and Bach et al. (1995), making this handbook suitable for linguists, semanticians, philosophers of language and logicians alike.

Formal approaches to number in Slavic and beyond

Author : Mojmír Dočekal
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The goal of this collective monograph is to explore the relationship between the cognitive notion of number and various grammatical devices expressing this concept in natural language with a special focus on Slavic. The book aims at investigating different morphosyntactic and semantic categories including plurality and number-marking, individuation and countability, cumulativity, distributivity and collectivity, numerals, numeral modifiers and classifiers, as well as other quantifiers. It gathers 19 contributions tackling the main themes from different theoretical and methodological perspectives in order to contribute to our understanding of cross-linguistic patterns both in Slavic and non-Slavic languages.

The Grammar of French Quantification

Author : Lena Baunaz
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This book is the first extensive study on French Quantification in the field of Syntax. It provides a typology of four main quantified noun phrases in French (existential, universal, negative and wh-), detailing their syntactic, semantic and prosodic behaviors and showing that they can be reduced to two classes—Split-DP structures or Floating quantification. Relying on syntax and semantics, the book establishes a three-way structural typology of wh in-situ phrases and extends it to existentials. It pays special attention to the prosodic properties associated with their different readings and proposes an analysis of the distribution of subextraction and pied-piping. Similarly based on semantic and syntactic tests, the book reveals N(egative) words to be universal Quantifiers. It proposes a new structure of N-words in terms of constituent negation and includes a detailed analysis of the difference between not an N and not all the N in French.

Argument Structure and Grammatical Relations

Author : Pirkko Suihkonen
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This book is a collection of articles dealing with various aspects of grammatical relations and argument structure in the languages of Europe and North and Central Asia (LENCA). Topics covered with respect to individual languages are: split-intransitivity (Basque), causativization (Agul), transitives and causatives (Korean and Japanese), aspectual domain and quantification (Finnish and Udmurt), head-marking principles (Athabaskan languages), and pragmatics (Eastern Khanty and Xibe). Typology of argument-structure properties of 'give' (LENCA), typology of agreement systems, asymmetry in argument structure, typology of the Amdo Sprachbund, spatial realtors (Northeastern Turkic), core argument patterns (languages of Northern California), and typology of grammatical relations (LENCA) are the topics of articles based on cross-linguistic data. The broad empirical sweep and the fine-tuned theoretical analysis highlight the central role of argument structure and grammatical relations with respect to a plethora of linguistic phenomena.

Diversity in African languages

Author : Doris L. Payne
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Diversity in African Languages contains a selection of revised papers from the 46th Annual Conference on African Linguistics, held at the University of Oregon. Most chapters focus on single languages, addressing diverse aspects of their phonology, morphology, semantics, syntax, information structure, or historical development. These chapters represent nine different genera: Mande, Gur, Kwa, Edoid, Bantu, Nilotic, Gumuzic, Cushitic, and Omotic. Other chapters investigate a mix of languages and families, moving from typological issues to sociolinguistic and inter-ethnic factors that affect language and accent switching. Some chapters are primarily descriptive, while others push forward the theoretical understanding of tone, semantic problems, discourse related structures, and other linguistic systems. The papers on Bantu languages reflect something of the internal richness and continued fascination of the family for linguists, as well as maturation of research on the family. The distribution of other papers highlights the need for intensified research into all the language families of Africa, including basic documentation, in order to comprehend linguistic diversities and convergences across the continent. In this regard, the chapter on Daats’íin (Gumuzic) stands out as the first-ever published article on this hitherto unknown and endangered language found in the Ethiopian-Sudanese border lands.

Semantics Noun Phrases and Verb Phrases

Author : Paul Portner
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Gain a deeper understanding of essential research on the semantics of noun phrases and verb phrases. Clear explanations of significant recent research bring complex issues to life, with expert guidance on topics of debate within the field. The book gives readers valuable insights into topics such as definiteness, specificity, genericity aspect, aktionsart and mood. It also discusses directions for future research. Written by a world-class team of authors, these highly cited articles are here in paperback for the first time since their original publication. An essential reference for researchers in the area.

Logic Language and Meaning

Author : Maria Aloni
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This book contains the revised papers presented at the 8th Amsterdam Colloquium 2011, held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in December 2011. The 46 thoroughly refereed and revised contributions out of 137 submissions presented together with 2 invited talks are organized in five sections. The first section contains the invited contributions. The second, third and fourth sections incorporate submitted contributions to the three thematic workshops that were hosted by the Colloquium and addressed the following topics: inquisitiveness; formal semantics and pragmatics of sign languages, formal semantic evidence. The final section presents the submitted contributions to the general program.