|Title:||The Syntax of Non-Canonical Quantification: A comparative study||Add Dissertation|
|Author:||Éric Mathieu||Update Dissertation|
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|Institution:||University College London, PhD in Linguistics|
Hans Van de Koot
|Abstract:||The expected schema for quantificational structures at LF in natural languages is one whereby the semantic restriction is adjacent to the operator with which it is associated: Operator - Restriction - Matrix. However, many constructions in natural languages do not follow this canonical quantification format. The present thesis investigates several cases of non-canonical quantification whereby the semantic restriction is not adjacent to its operator: Operator - Matrix - Restriction. On a descriptive level, it is shown that non-canonical quantification is tolerated as long as no scopal element intervenes between the operator and the in situ semantic restriction. Otherwise scope island effects are exhibited.
The main thesis of this study is that the scope-freezing property of predicative indefinites, which is amply justified on independent grounds, provides the basis for an explanation of the intervention effects shown in split constructions. The relevant facts are made to follow from the Scopal ECP (cf. Williams 1994) and are thus accommodated in a principled way. I assume that stranded indefinites do not introduce an existential quantifier, but only a so-called Skolem function f (x), f being a functional variable and x an argumental variable. When such a function is introduced, an indefinite has 'zero' scope; it behaves like the trace of an adjunct in that its scope is fixed locally.
The various domains of enquiry are French WH in situ, partial WH movement, French negative constructions involving so-called N-words, and constructions with attributive focus particles. All these constructions are argued to be cases of non-canonical quantification. In each case an operator is separated from its noun restrictor and scope island effects arise.