Anna Szabolcsi: Dissecting Quantifiers

Anna Szabolcsi

New York University

Dissecting Quantifiers

There have been three main stages in the study of natural language quantifiers. Starting with Montague’s seminal work,the 1970s and 1980s gave us theories of grand uniformity, built especially on the notion of generalized quantifiers. The 1980s and the 1990s went on to discover diversity in the behavior of quantificational expressions: the classes of bare indefinites and definites, distributive singular quantifiers, and counting quantifiers emerged. From 2000 on and continuing today, attention has been turning to the internal composition of quantifier phrases and, more recently, of quantifier words.

The five lectures will look atthese issues, concentrating on the more recent developments. The rough plan is as follows; some regrouping is quite possible.

Lecture #1 introduces generalized quantifiers and the challenges presented by diverse scope and distributivity behavior.

Lecture #2 discusses theories pertaining to the three classes mentioned above.

Lecture #3 moves on to compositionality in quantifier phrases and quantifier words.

Lecture #4 focuses on recent literature that pertains to what I will call (after Japanese) the KA and the MO families of quantifiers, connectives, scalar and additive particles, question markers, and their relatives.

Lecture #5 presents my current thinking about the roles of the shared particles.

The first three lectures draw heavily from Szabolcsi, Quantification (CUP, 2010).

The last two rely on Szabolcsi, Whang, and Zu (2013),Quantifier words and their multifunctional(?)
parts, at ; Slade (2011), Formal and Philological Inquiries Into the Nature of Interrogatives, Indefinites, Disjunction and Focus in Sinhala and Other Languages, at; and on my ongoing research Szabolcsi (2013), What do quantifier particles do? at

Handouts (Dissecting Quantifiers)