LINGUIST List 11.2614

Sun Dec 3 2000

Books: Syntax/Semantics

Editor for this issue: Naomi Ogasawara <>

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  1. Jud Wolfskill, Syntax/Semantics: What Counts: Focus & Quantification by E. Herburger

Message 1: Syntax/Semantics: What Counts: Focus & Quantification by E. Herburger

Date: Thu, 30 Nov 2000 15:20:28 -0500
From: Jud Wolfskill <wolfskilMIT.EDU>
Subject: Syntax/Semantics: What Counts: Focus & Quantification by E. Herburger

I thought readers of Linguist List might be interested in this book.
For more information please visit

What Counts

Focus and Quantification

Elena Herburger

In What Counts, Elena Herburger considers the effects of focus on
interpretation. She investigates how focus affects the pragmatics and
truth conditions of a sentence by rearranging its quantificational


Adopting a neo-Davidsonian stance, Herburger claims that various
pragmatic and truth-conditional effects of focus sustain a uniform
explanation if focus is viewed as imposing structure on otherwise
unrestricted quantification. Phenomena discussed include "free" focus,
the interaction between focus and negation, the quantificational
structure of adverbs of quantification, the semantics of only and
even, and the differences between weak and strong determiners.


One of Herburger's aims is to show that a simple semantics, without
reliance on such notions as semantic presupposition, can account for
the truth-conditional and pragmatic effects of focus. The book will be
of interest to anyone exploring the syntax-semantics interface and
current theories of quantification.


Elena Herburger is Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at
Georgetown University.

6 x 9, 184 pp., paper ISBN 0-262-58185-X, cloth ISBN 0-262-08287-X

Linguistic Inquiry Monographs #36

Jud Wolfskill					617.253.2079 phone
Associate Publicist				617.253.1709 fax
MIT Press
5 Cambridge Center
Fourth Floor
Cambridge, MA 02142
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Monday, November 27, 2000