Brian Buccola (Michigan State University) will present “Higher-order plurality without conjunction” in the Linguistics colloquium series at 3:30 Friday November 19, in ILC S331. An abstract follows. All are welcome!
A simple DP like “the animals” refers to a plurality, while a DP conjunction like “the cats and the dogs” refers, at least prima facie, to a structured, or higher-order, plurality — that is, a plurality of pluralities. A great deal of debate has focused on how to model this additional structure (Link 1984; Landman 1989; Krifka 1991; Schwarzschild 1996), with renewed interest in the typology of readings that DP conjunctions may give rise to (Grimau 2020). In this talk, I will present data indicating that higher-order pluralities can sometimes, but not always, arise even in the absence of conjunction, a result that challenges two longstanding theories of plurality. I will sketch how these two theories can be extended to capture the data, and the diverging predictions they make. Time permitting, I will also discuss how these findings bear on recent work on higher-order readings of questions (Xiang 2021; Fox 2020; Gentile and Schwarz 2020). (Based on joint work with Jeremy Kuhn and David Nicolas.)
Fox, Danny (2020). “Partition by Exhaustification: Towards a Solution to Gentile and Schwarz’s Puzzle”. Cambridge, MA. url: https://semanticsarchive.net/Archive/TljZGNjZ.
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Schwarzschild, Roger (1996). Pluralities. Dordrecht, Holland: Kluwer.
Xiang, Yimei (2021). “Higher-Order Readings of Wh-Questions”. In: Natural Language Semantics 29, pp. 1–45. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11050-020-09166-8.