Speaker: Keny Chatain (MIT) Time: Wednesday, November 23th, 1-2pm Place: 32-D831 Title: Discussioon of: “Incremental quantification and the dynamics of pair-list phenomena” (Bumford, 2015).
In this talk, I will discuss a recent paper by Bumford (No reading required but in case you prefer authencity, you might want to check this: http://semprag.org/article/view/sp.8.9/pdf_8_9). This paper attempts to provide a unified account of 3 “pair-list” phenomena: pair-list questions, internal readings of adjectives and pair-list readings of indefinites (aka “Schlenker readings)
PAIR-LIST (1) What did each student read for the class? => mary checked the syntax paper, Julia the phonology paper, Joe the first line of the abstract of the semantic paper…
INTERNAL ADJECTIVES (2) Every year, Mary wrote a more interesting book/a different book/another book. => more interesting than/different from/other than the books from the previous year
PAIR-LIST READING OF INDEFINITES (3) If every player were to play a certain card in his hand right now, the game would end immediately. => there is a certain card in each player’s hand such that if each player use that card in his hand, the game would end immediately.
In the paper, a unified account is proposed in terms of incremental quantification: “every” is represented as a generalized dynamic conjunction. In this approach, uttering (2) is equivalent to uttering the sequence of sentences: Mary wrote a more interesting book in 2006; Mary wrote a more interesting book in 2007; Mary wrote a more interesting book in 2008; … Modulo extra assumptions about scope-taking, this move, it is claimed, successfully accounts for (1), (2) and (3). On a theoretical side, this makes “every” parallel to indefinites like “a”, which dynamic frameworks treat as generalized dynamic disjunction.