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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.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text | 264 pages
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 11 b/w illus. 3 tables
  • 1139005448
  • 9781139005449

About Anna Szabolcsi

Anna Szabolcsi is a Professor in the Department of Linguistics at New York University.show more

Table of contents

1. What this book is about and how to use it; 2. Generalized quantifiers and their elements: operators and their scopes; 3. Generalized quantifiers in non-nominal domains; 4. Some empirically significant properties of quantifiers and determiners; 5. Potential challenges for generalized quantifiers; 6. Scope is not uniform and not a primitive; 7. Existential scope versus distributive scope; 8. Distributivity and scope; 9. Bare numeral indefinites; 10. Modified numerals; 11. Clause-internal scopal diversity; 12. Towards a compositional semantics of quantifier words.show more

Review quote

'Extraordinary scholarship. A superb technical exposition, and an invaluable resource on the nature of quantification cross-linguistically.' Christopher Potts, Stanford University 'The discovery of a notation to represent reasoning with quantifiers was a Copernican moment in the history of logic. It led generations of scholars to seek some reflection of the quantifiers of the idealized notation in the vicissitudes of natural language. No one has done more to shake loose the simplifications and idealizations that have resulted than Anna Szabolcsi. Her long awaited volume is essential reading for any philosopher, logician, or linguist interested in the myriad ways in which natural languages express quantification.' Jason Stanley, Rutgers Universityshow more