Scope and Specificity is an investigation of quantifier scope
interaction in natural language, with special reference to English
and Chinese. In particular, it is concerned with semantic
properties of NPs. Quantifier scope plays an important role in
current theories of syntax and semantics. However, most studies of
quantifier scope are only concerned with the behavior of a small
number of quantifiers, e.g. 'every', 'some', 'all'. As a result,
the generalizations made on the basis of these quantifiers often do
not hold when a wider range of quantifiers is considered. In this
study a wide variety of NP types are examined with respect to how
they interact with other NPs. The key concept explored is that of
semantic scope dependency/independence. NPs are considered
according to two properties: whether they can induce
scope-dependency and whether they can be scope-dependent. By
observing how in basic sentences NPs behave with respect to the two
properties, the author presents a picture of quantifier scope much
different from what has been assumed in the literature.
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