Lexicalization of quantificational forces in adverbial and determiner domains

AbstractWhich quantificational forces do languages encode lexically? When a language features multiple quantificational scales (e.g. determiner and adverbial quantification), does this pattern of lexicalization for one scale correlate with those of other scales? Using English as a first test case for examining these questions, we adapted the ideas of Lewis (1975) into the hypothesis that all English lexical quantifiers unrelated to cardinal numbers or definite descriptions, determiner and adverbial alike, have one of six quantificational forces. To test this claim, we ran an online study. Dividing participants into adverbial and determiner conditions, we gave a context specifying a 100-day period and asked participants to judge the quantificational force of quantified sentences denoting an individual’s daily activities during this period. We found evidence of cross-scale correspondences but fewer quantificational forces than expected. These results provide preliminary evidence for parts of our hypothesis but suggest a need for future research.

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