Indefinites in Negated Intensional Contexts: An argument for world-skolemized choice functions
Zahra Mirrazi
August 2021

Presenting novel data, I show that indefinites in the surface syntactic scope of a negated intensional operator can yield a reading in which the indefinite appears to take wider scope over the negation, and narrow scope with respect to the intensional operator. Genuine generalized quantifiers, in contrast, cannot yield such readings. I argue that the existence of such wide pseudo-scope de dicto readings poses a problem for the generalized quantifier view of indefinites, as well as any approach that takes indefinites to scope via syntactic movement. I show that an in-situ account of indefinites, i.e. the choice functional account (Reinhart, 1997; Winter, 1997; Kratzer, 1998; Matthewson, 1999) can straightforwardly account for the new data, without over-generating genuine wide scope de dicto readings (a.k.a. the fourth readings) which are widely believed to be impossible (von Fintel & Heim, 2011; Keshet & Schwarz, 2019; Elliott, 2020). The uniqueness of indefinites in giving rise to such wide pseudo-scope de dicto readings, which is also found within a simple clause, provides evidence that indefinites differ from generalized quantifiers, not only in their ability to take exceptional scope, but also in their local scopal properties.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/006124
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: in review
keywords: indefinite, scope paradox, choice function, skolemization, intensionality, world variable, neg-raising, the fourth reading, semantics
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