Discourse plurals in an update semantics

  • Ezra Keshet


Quantification famously licenses later reference to the set of individuals quantified over, as in “Almost every student wrote an extra-credit paper. They wanted to improve their grades.” Reference is also possible to other sets of individuals introduced in the quantification, as in “Almost every student wrote an extra-credit paper. They are sitting in a pile on my desk.” Previous work has cast doubt on whether such reference is available within the quantification itself, but this paper argues that it is available internally, as in “Most North Atlantic countries signed a treaty declaring that an attack on one of them an attack on all of them,” where the pronouns ‘them’ refer only to the signatory countries. Once such internal reference is allowed, it turns out that several other difficult phenomena can be captured without further machinery, such as reciprocals, cumulative readings, and sentences with ‘same’ and ‘different.’
How to Cite
Keshet, E. (2019). Discourse plurals in an update semantics. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 23(1), 565-579. https://doi.org/10.18148/sub/2019.v23i1.550