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Logical Semantics

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A base rule introducing articles is: Art ͢ [+-definite]The + definite is the, wich occurs after singulars and plurals while – definite is the ‘a’ deleted before plurals by the transformational rule. Terefore, i ø serves as a plural counterpart of indefinite article a, ten the two will share all the relevant semantic properties, ecept for those explainable by the presence or absence of plurality (415). For instance, cnsider the sentences 1aband 2ab in which E is existential quantifier, S singular and Pl, pural: Idefinite plurals compared to their singular forms.

Carlson identifies sentences derived from ø as opacity form while sentences containing indefinite singular as the transparency form (417). Bt some cases exist where the plural has narrower scope than the singular (421). Fr instance in sentences such as: Te 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. Te third sentence shows an example of differentiated scope arising from cleft sentences. Te first part of the implies that each person ate the same tomato.

Differentiated scope sets apart not only ø from a but also from other quantifiers and determinants. ø 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. I the first sentence there is ambiguity between transparent and opaque readings. I the second sentence however, te ambiguity disappears even though the first sentence is in the second sentence. Tis because 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. Te bare plural is shown to have opaque readings in opaque contexts and does not participate in quantifier scope ambiguities, bt take the narrowest scope. Idefinite plural use of bare plural is not to be distinguished from generic uses. Idefinite plural can serve as an antecedent for generic use (a), ad generic may serve as antecedent for existential (b) as below: Te generic (universal) in the example serves as an antecedent for indefinite plural (an existential), ad vice versa.

I is unexplainable how this occurs if. ..

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