Semantics Research Group Meeting, February 21, 2020

[Japanese | English]

5:00pm, February 21, 2020
Keio University, Mita Campus,
South Annex, 7th floor
Takanobu Nakamura (University of Edinburgh)
A situation-based theory of distributivity

In this talk, I propose a situation-based account of distributivity as an alternative to event-based accounts of distributivity. As empirical issues concerning this shift, I discuss quantifier floating and distributive numerals in Japanese. In both case study, I present observations which are problematic for event-based accounts, but expected under a situation-based account. First, floating numeral quantifiers in Japanese always give rise to event multiplicity (Nakanishi 2008 a.o) and this is a piece of support for the event-based analysis of floating numeral quantifiers. However, I discuss (i) contextual entailment patterns in non-local floating and (ii) event-multiplicity with non-counting classifiers. Event-based accounts either make no prediction or wrong predictions about these, but the situation-based account can naturally account for these phenomena. Second, Japanese distributive numeral morpheme “-zutsu” distributes over individuals and occasions. However, there is yet another type of reading, which I call kind partition readings. This reading has a rigidly NP-internal scope and its truth is evaluated in a different situation from the one for the rest of the clause. This motivates a situation-based account of distributive numerals, in which all the three readings come in a unified fashion.

Semantics Research Group

Last modified: Fri Feb 7 19:01:53 JST 2020