Association with distributivity and the problem of multiple antecedents for singular different
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Brasoveanu (Linguist Philos 34:93–168, 2011) argues that “different” exhibits what he calls association with distributivity: a distributive operator such as “each” creates a two-part context that propagates through the compositional semantics in a way that can be accessed by a subordinate “different”. We show that Brasoveanu’s analysis systematically undergenerates, failing to provide interpretations of sentences such as “Every1 boy claimed every girl read a different1 poem”, in which “different” can associate with a non-local distributive operator. We provide a generalized version of association with distributivity, implemented using de Groote’s (in: Proceedings of semantics and linguistic theory XVI, 2006) continuation-based dynamic semantics. We compare our analysis with the one in Brasoveanu (2011), drawing conclusions about computational tractability, scope of indefinites, and whether it is possible or even desirable to arrive at a unified analysis of internal and external readings of “different”.
KeywordsDifferent Same Association with distributivity Dynamic semantics Continuations Scope Indefinites
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