Special Quantification: Substitutional, Higher-Order and Nominalization Approaches
Friederike Moltmann
January 2023

Prior’s problem consists in the impossibility of replacing clausal complements of most attitude verbs by ‘ordinary’ NPs; only ‘special quantifiers’ that is, quantifiers like 'something' permit a replacement, preserving grammaticality or the same reading of the verb: (1) a. John claims that he won. b. ??? John claims a proposition / some thing. c. John claims something. In my 2013 book Abstract Objects and the Semantics of Natural Language, I have shown how this generalizes to nonreferential complements of various other intensional predicates and argued for a Nominalization Theory of special quantifiers. In this paper, I will review and extend the range of linguistic generalizations that motivate the Nominalization Theory and show that they pose serious problems for higher-order and substitutional analyses of special quantifiers. I will outline a new version of the Nominalization Theory of special quantifiers based on the syntactic status of '-thing' as a light noun in Richard Kayne's sense.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/006972
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: A. Savile: Festschrift for Mark Sainsbury
keywords: quantification, light nouns, ontological categories, nominalization, propositional attitudes, lexical decomposition, intensional transitives, semantics, syntax
previous versions: v1 [December 2022]
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