Groups vs. covers revisited: Evidence from symmetric readings of sentences with plurals
Brian Buccola, Jeremy Kuhn, David Nicolas
April 2021

A number of natural language constructions seem to provide access to structured pluralities — that is, pluralities of pluralities. A body of semantic work has debated how to model this additional structure and the extent to which it depends on pragmatics. In this article, after controlling for the distinction between ambiguity and underspecification, we present new data showing that structured pluralities are sometimes but not always available, depending on the form of the plural noun phrase used. We show that these results challenge two longstanding theories of plurality. We sketch two different ways to account for these data and describe some of the diverging predictions they make.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004969
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Forthcoming in Natural Language Semantics (with a different subtitle: "Structured pluralities and symmetric readings")
keywords: ambiguity, covers, experimental linguistics, groups, inverse linking, plural dynamic semantics, plurals, reciprocity, underspecification, semantics
previous versions: v4 [February 2021]
v3 [December 2020]
v2 [September 2020]
v1 [January 2020]
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