Natural Language Semantics

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 27–69 | Cite as

Distributivity and Dependency

  • Yoad Winter


Sentences with multiple occurrences of plural definites give rise to certain effects suggesting that distributivity should be modeled by polyadic operations. Yet in this paper it is argued that the simpler treatment of distributivity using unary universal quantification should be retained. Seemingly polyadic effects are claimed to be restricted to definite NPs. This fact is accounted for by the special anaphoric (dependent) use of definites. Further evidence concerning various plurals, island constraints, and cumulative quantification is shown to support this claim. In addition, it is shown that the evidence against a simple atomic version of unary distributivity is not decisive either. In the (uncommon) cases where distributivity with definites is not strictly atomic, they can be analyzed as dependent on implicit quantifiers.


Simple Treatment Universal Quantification Unary Distributivity Atomic Version Multiple Occurrence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

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  • Yoad Winter

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