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Anaphoric reference to quantifying expressions in Swedish
Lund University.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages.
2018 (English)In: Grammatikk i Norden 2 (GRAMINO): Oslo 15-16 May 2018, 2018Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Both (1) and (2) say that some undefined, small number of students went to the lecture, but the sentences differ in what type of quantifier is used: Några (‘some’) is a positive (upward entailing) quantifier, while (‘few’) is a negative (downward entailing) quantifier (Peters and Westerståhl, 2006).

(1) Några studenter gick på föreläsningen.    some students went to the-lecture

(2) Få studenter gick på föreläsningen.    few students went to the-lecture

When referring back to ‘the students’ in (1) and (2), a difference in which students are referred to can be detected. (1) is naturally followed by (3), which talks about the students attending the lecture (the reference set), while (2) is naturally followed by (4), which talks about the students not attending the lecture (the complement set) (e.g. Moxey and Sanford, 1987). Whereas (3) can also follow (2) (although not as easily as (4)), (4) is only acceptable following (2).

(3) De tyckte den var väldigt intressant.    they thougth it was very interesting

(4) De stannade hemma i stället.    they stayed home instead

Anaphoric reference to quantifiers has been investigated extensively and we know that upward/downward entailment is one factor that influences set-reference in English (see e.g. Moxey and Sanford, 1987; San- ford et al., 1996; Paterson et al., 1998; Moxey et al., 2001; Moxey, 2006; Filik et al., 2011). However, to our knowledge there are no investigations of set-reference in Swedish. As quantifiers do not always behave the same across languages (Nouwen, 2010; Tsai et al., 2014), we investigated this issue for Swedish in a semantic plausibility study where we tested whether quantified expressions gave rise to reference set or complement set interpretations.

The material was manipulated along two dimensions: positive vs negative quantifier (några vs in (5)), and refset vs compset targeting disambiguating adjective (duktiga vs dåliga in (5)). The quantifiers included were: några (‘some’), (‘few’), många (‘many’), inte många (‘not many’), alla (‘all’), inga (‘no’), nästan alla (‘almost all’), inte alla’ (‘not all’).

(5) Några/Få studenter skrev bra på tentan igår och att de var så duktiga/dåligasome/few students wrote well on exam yesterday and that they were so good/bad

förbryllade professorn.confused the-professor

The results were that positive quantifiers with anaphoric reference to the compset were judged as anomalous, and negative quantifiers with anaphoric reference to the refset were judged as anomalous, although there was more variation with regard to the negative ones. As expected, these results are in line with previous studies.

Referenser

Filik, Ruth, Hartmut Leuthold, Linda M. Moxey, and Anthony J. Sanford. 2011. Anaphoric reference to quantified antecedents: An event-related brain potential study. Neuropsychologia 49:3786–3794.

Moxey, Linda M. 2006. Effects of what is expected on the focussing properties of quantifiers: A test of the presupposition-denial account. Journal of Memory and Language 55:422–439.

Moxey, Linda M., and Anthony J. Sanford. 1987. Quantifiers and focus. Journal of semantics 5:189–206.

Moxey, Linda M., Anthony J. Sanford, and E. Dawydiak. 2001. Denials as controllers of negative quantifier focus. Journal of memory & language 44:427–442.

Nouwen, Rick. 2010. What’s in a quantifier? In The linguistics enterprise: from knowledge of language to knowledge in linguistics, ed. Martin Everaert, Tom Lentz, Hannah de Mulder, Øystein Nilsen, and Arjen Zondervan, 235–256. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Paterson, Kevin B., Anthony J. Sanford, Linda M. Moxey, and Eugene Dawydiak. 1998. Quantifier polarity and referential focus during reading. Journal of Memory and Language 39:290–306.

Peters, Stanley, and Dag Westerst ̊ahl. 2006. Quantifiers in language and logic. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Sanford, Anthony J., Linda M. Moxey, and Kevin B. Paterson. 1996. Attentional focusing with quantifiers in production and comprehension. Memory &

Cognition 24:144–155.Tsai, C.-Y. Edwin, Gregory Scontras, Kenneth Mai, and Maria Polinsky. 2014. Prohibiting inverse scope: An experimental study of Chinese vs. English.

In Empirical Issues in Syntax and Semantics 10, ed. Christopher Pin ̃o ́n, 305–322. Paris: CSSP.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
polarity, set focus, psycholinguistics
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
Humanities, Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-78511OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-78511DiVA, id: diva2:1259126
Conference
Grammatikk i Norden 2 (GRAMINO) : Oslo 15-16 May 2018
Projects
KvantisAvailable from: 2018-10-27 Created: 2018-10-27 Last updated: 2019-01-22Bibliographically approved

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Heinat, Fredrik

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf