Degree quantifiers, bare quantifiers and intensifiers in the midfield: A new look at quantification at a distance

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Abstract

Nearly all of the theories of Quantification at a Distance (QAD) that have been put forth in the past fifteen years have assumed that degree quantifiers are first merged in the derivation as a midfield (VP-) event-quantifying adverbs. This has one important consequence, pointed out in Bouchard and Burnett (2007: 8), which is that if the restriction of the quantifier in QAD is assumed to be a set of events and if the event variable is introduced in the left periphery of the VP, “the term Quantification at a Distance [...] is, in fact, a misnomer. There is nothing ‘long distance’ about the semantic composition of QAD; it simply proceeds via adjacency.” In this article, I aim to challenge this view. I first introduce novel empirical evidence, which I believe unambiguously supports a movement derivation of QAD. Specifically, I show that the degree quantifiers in QAD have the same distribution as bare quantifiers like tout ‘everything’ and rien ‘nothing’, which are arguments of the verb and are therefore first-merged VP-internally, yet are spelled out in the midfield. This leads me to re-examine the data that have led to the hypothesis that a movement analysis of QAD is undesirable and show that alternative explanations can be provided for them. Finally, I offer a new account of QAD, one that reconciles a movement derivation with the facts that have led to its demise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5334
JournalGlossa
Volume1
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Language and Linguistics

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