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Logical Semantics Essay Example

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Logical Semantics

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A base rule introducing articles is: Art ͢ [+-definite]The + definite is the, which occurs after singulars and plurals while – definite is the ‘a’ deleted before plurals by the transformational rule. Therefore, if ø serves as a plural counterpart of indefinite article a, then the two will share all the relevant semantic properties, except for those explainable by the presence or absence of plurality (415). For instance, consider the sentences 1aband 2ab in which E is existential quantifier, Sl singular and Pl, plural:Indefinite plurals show ambiguity compared to their singular forms. Carlson identifies sentences derived from ø as opacity form while sentences containing indefinite singular as the transparency form (417). But some cases exist where the plural has narrower scope than the singular (421). For instance in sentences such as:The second sentence treats time adverbials as a universal quantification. Adverbials are strange with achievement verbs unless the subject or the direct object is a bare plural. The third sentence shows an example of differentiated scope arising from cleft sentences. The first part of the third sentence implies that each person ate the same tomato. Differentiated scope sets apart not only ø from a but also from other quantifiers and determinants. øi s the determiner or quantifier among the indefinites that fails to show ambiguities or opaque-transparent distinctions. The ø indefinite plural is thus not semantically parallel to the singular form a.In the first sentence there is ambiguity between transparent and opaque readings. In the second sentence however, the ambiguity disappears even though the first sentence is in the second sentence. This arises because it is apparent that Kelly and Millie are seeking the same unicorn. Carlson concludes that the indefinite plural (ø) cannot be the plural of a in any semantically relevant way. The bare plural is shown to have opaque readings in opaque contexts and does not participate in quantifier scope ambiguities, but take the narrowest scope.Indefinite plural use of bare plural is not to be distinguished from generic uses. Indefinite plural can serve as an antecedent for generic use (a), and generic may serve as antecedent for existential use (b) as exemplified below:The generic (universal) in the example serves as an antecedent for indefinite plural (an existential), and vice versa. It is unexplainable how this occurs if

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