The Quantificational Function of the Japanese Numeral Classifier

  • Mana Kobuchi-Philip


This paper presents a new quantificational analysis of the Japanese numeral quantifier (NQ) construction. It is proposed that the classifier within the NQ functions as the domain of quantification for the numeral, denoting a set of atomic individuals. This accounts for the predominant distributive reading of the floating NQ sentence, both with object classifiers and event classifiers, as a direct consequence of the atomicity condition of the classifier denotation. The analysis correctly predicts that, unlike the floating NQ, the non-floating NQ will show a collective/distributive ambiguity because it forms a plural term, which can always be interpreted as a group individual or as a sum of individuals. The analysis also provides a semantic account of the well-known classifier-NP agreement phenomenon.
How to Cite
Kobuchi-Philip, M. (2019). The Quantificational Function of the Japanese Numeral Classifier. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 8, 151-166.