Topic: HUMAN SEMANTICS
Direct compositionality on demandBy Chris Barker
Source: Semantics Archive
This paper starts with the assumption that the expression saw everyone, as in John saw everyone, is a constituent. It can be coordinated, clefted, focussed, questioned, pronominalized, you name it. In general, if you have a constituent containing an NP, and you replace that NP with a quantificational NP like everyone, then the result is still a full-fledged constituent. But everyone can take scope outside of a verb phrase. As a result, the semantics of everyone must somehow gain access to material that can properly contain the constituent saw everyone. Despite decades of research on quantification, I will suggest that no existing analysis (including my own published accounts to date) provides an adequate characterization of both the local and the long-distance aspects of the syntax and the semantics of quantificational expressions. The main goal of this paper, then, is to propose an explicit new account that tries to do better.