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Pairs of things and the meaning of the plural

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WĄGIEL Marcin

Rok publikování 2017
Druh Kapitola v knize
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Filozofická fakulta

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Popis In this chapter, I discuss issues concerning the semantic interpretation of the plural. I review two alternative approaches to the problem, namely the inclusive and exclusive interpretation of the plural, and recall arguments against the inclusive approach. Furthermore, I propose that the unified semantics of `pair' developed here supports the exclusive account. The analysis accounts for the supposedly heterogeneous behavior of `pair' in phrases in which it combines with regular plural nouns and, on the other hand, with pluralia tantum. The puzzle concerns different cardinalities of denoted objects. I posit that the denotation of regular count nouns includes only sums of individuals, whereas pluralia tantum denote complete semi-lattices. In each case, `pair' selects a minimal element of the denotation of a noun, i.e., either a sum consisting of two individuals or an atom, and turns it into a group that can be further counted.
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