Natural Language Semantics

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 249–287 | Cite as

Pluractionality and Complex Quantifier Formation

  • Malte Zimmermann


This paper investigates the effects of (surface) DP-internal quantifying expressions on semantic interpretation. In particular, I investigate two syntactic constructions in which an adjective takes scope out of its embedding DP, thus raising an interesting question for strict compositionality. Regarding the first construction, I follow Larson (1999) and assume that the adjective incorporates into the determiner of its DP, forming a complex quantifier [D+A]. I present new evidence in favor of this analysis. Since Larson's semantic analysis of complex quantifiers [D+A] makes a wrong prediction, I propose an alternative, empirically more adequate analysis that treats D+A compounds as pluractional quantifiers in the sense of Lasersohn (1995). Finally, I turn to the second construction, arguing that – despite superficial similarities to the first construction - it should not be analyzed in terms of complex quantifier formation, but in terms of LF-movement of the adjective to Spec,DP. The discussion suggests that there is more than one way for DP-internal modifiers to take DP-external scope in natural language.


Natural Language Semantic Analysis Semantic Interpretation Quantifier Formation Wrong Prediction 
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Malte Zimmermann
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduiertenkallog "Satzarten: Variation und Interpretation"Johann-Wolfgang – Goethe – UniversitätFrankfurt/MainGermany E-mail

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