Cumulative Readings of Every Do Not Provide Evidence for Events and Thematic Roles

  • Lucas Champollion
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6042)


An argument by Kratzer (2000) based on Schein (1986, 1993) does not conclusively show that events and thematic roles are necessary ingredients of the logical representation of natural language sentences. The argument claims that cumulative readings of every can be represented only with these ingredients. But scope-splitting accounts make it possible to represent cumulative readings of every in an eventless framework. Such accounts are motivated by obligatory reconstruction effects of every and by crosslinguistic considerations. Kratzer proposes that agent but not theme occurs in the logical representation of sentences because this allows her to model subject-object asymmetries in the distribution of cumulative every. But the reason for these asymmetries seems to be that every must be c-commanded by another quantifier in order to cumulate with it, no matter what its thematic role is. So the distribution of cumulative every does not provide support for Kratzer’s proposal.


Noun Phrase Copy Editor Thematic Role Minimal Pair Natural Language Semantic 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bayer, S.L.: Confessions of a Lapsed Neo-Davidsonian: Events and Arguments in Compositional Semantics. Garland, New York (1997)Google Scholar
  2. Beck, S., Sauerland, U.: Cumulation is needed: A reply to Winter 2000. Natural Language Semantics 8(4), 349–371 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brasoveanu, A.: Modified numerals as post-suppositions. In: Aloni, M., Bastiaanse, H., de Jager, T., Schulz, K. (eds.) Amsterdam Colloquium 2009. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 6042, pp. 203–212. Springer, Heidelberg (2009)Google Scholar
  4. Chomsky, N.: A minimalist program for linguistic theory. In: Hale, K., Keyser, J. (eds.) The View from Building 20. Essays in Linguistics in Honor of Sylvain Bromberger, pp. 1–52. MIT Press, Cambridge (1993)Google Scholar
  5. Davidson, D.: The logical form of action sentences. In: Rescher, N. (ed.) The logic of decision and action, pp. 81–95. University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh (1967)Google Scholar
  6. Engdahl, E.: Constituent Questions. D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht (1986)Google Scholar
  7. Fox, D.: Reconstruction, binding theory, and the interpretation of chains. Linguistic Inquiry 30(2), 157–196 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fox, D.: Antecedent-contained deletion and the copy theory of movement. Linguistic Inquiry 33(1), 63–96 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Groenendijk, J., Janssen, T., Stokhof, M. (eds.): Truth, interpretation, information. Foris, Dordrecht (1984)Google Scholar
  10. Johnson, K.: Determiners. Talk presented at On Linguistic Interfaces, Ulster (2007)Google Scholar
  11. Kratzer, A.: The event argument and the semantics of verbs. Manuscript, ch. 2. University of Massachusetts, Amherst (2000)Google Scholar
  12. Krifka, M.: Nominalreferenz und Zeitkonstitution. Zur Semantik von Massentermen, Pluraltermen und Aspektklassen. Fink, München (published 1986)Google Scholar
  13. Krifka, M.: Pragmatic strengthening in plural predications and donkey sentences. In: Galloway, T., Spence, J. (eds.) Proceedings of SALT 6, Ithaca. CLC Publications, Cornell University (1996)Google Scholar
  14. Krifka, M.: At least some determiners aren’t determiners. In: Turner, K. (ed.) The Semantics/Pragmatics Interface from Different Points of View, pp. 257–291. Elsevier, Amsterdam (1999)Google Scholar
  15. Kroch, A.S.: The semantics of scope in English. PhD thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass. (1974)Google Scholar
  16. Landman, F.: Events and plurality: The Jerusalem lectures. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht (2000)Google Scholar
  17. Lee, T.: Studies on quantification in Chinese. PhD thesis, University of California at Los Angeles (1986)Google Scholar
  18. Lin, J.-W.: Distributivity in Chinese and its implications. Natural Language Semantics 6, 201–243 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Link, G.: The logical analysis of plurals and mass terms: A lattice-theoretical approach. In: Bäuerle, R., Schwarze, C., von Stechow, A. (eds.) Meaning, use and interpretation of language, pp. 303–323. de Gruyter, Berlin (1983)Google Scholar
  20. Link, G.: Algebraic semantics in language and philosophy. CSLI, Stanford (1998)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  21. Liu, F.-H.: Scope Dependency in English and Chinese. PhD thesis, University of California at Los Angeles (1990)Google Scholar
  22. Malamud, S.: (Non-)Maximality and distributivity: a decision theory approach. In: Proceedings of the 16th Conference on Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT 16), Tokyo, Japan (2006)Google Scholar
  23. Matthewson, L.: Quantification and the nature of crosslinguistic variation. Natural Language Semantics 9, 145–189 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Parsons, T.: Events in the semantics of English. MIT Press, Cambridge (1990)Google Scholar
  25. Roberts, C.: Modal subordination, anaphora, and distributivity. PhD thesis, University of Massachusetts, Amherst (1987)Google Scholar
  26. Sauerland, U.: The meaning of chains. PhD thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1998)Google Scholar
  27. Sauerland, U.: A new semantics for number. In: The Proceedings of SALT 13, Ithaca, N.Y, pp. 258–275. Cornell University/CLC-Publications (2003)Google Scholar
  28. Sauerland, U.: The interpretation of traces. Natural Language Semantics 12, 63–127 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Scha, R.: Distributive, collective and cumulative quantification. In: Groenendijk, J., Janssen, T., Stokhof, M. (eds.) Formal methods in the study of language, Mathematical Center Tracts, Amsterdam (1981); Reprinted in Groenendijk et al. (1984)Google Scholar
  30. Schein, B.: Event logic and the interpretation of plurals. PhD thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA (1986)Google Scholar
  31. Schein, B.: Plurals and events. MIT Press, Cambridge (1993)Google Scholar
  32. Schein, B.: Plurals. In: Lepore, E., Smith, B.C. (eds.) Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press, Oxford (2006)Google Scholar
  33. Schwarzschild, R.: Pluralities. Kluwer, Dordrecht (1996)Google Scholar
  34. Sternefeld, W.: Reciprocity and cumulative predication. Natural Language Semantics 6, 303–337 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Szabolcsi, A. (ed.): Ways of scope taking. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht (1997)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  36. Zweig, E.: Dependent plurals and plural meaning. PhD thesis, NYU, New York, N.Y. (2008)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lucas Champollion
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUnited States

Personalised recommendations