Quantificational variability and the genesis of English headed wh-relatives

  • Truswell Robert
  • Nikolas Gisborne

Abstract

English headed wh-relatives developed from Old English free hw-relatives, but many descriptive grammars associate free hw-relatives primarily with generalizing interpretations quite unlike the standard semantics for headed relatives. We demonstrate that these generalizing interpretations are reducible to factors external to the free relative itself, and that these external factors are less common with clause-final free hw-relatives. Clause-final free hw-relatives are more likely to be interpreted as definite, which brings them closer to typical interpretation of headed relatives.
How to Cite
Robert, T., & Gisborne, N. (1). Quantificational variability and the genesis of English headed wh-relatives. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 19, 659-676. https://doi.org/10.18148/sub/2015.v19i0.255