Scope and the grammar of choice


and Data The essence of scope in natural language semantics can be characterized as follows: an expression e1 takes scope over an expression e2 iff the interpretation of the former affects the interpretation of the latter. Consider, for example, the sentence in (1) below, which is typical of the cases discussed in this paper in that it involves an indefinite and a universal (or, more generally, a non-existential) quantifier. (1) Everyx student in my class read ay paper about scope. How can we tell whether the indefinite in (1) is in the scope of the universal or not? We can answer this question in two ways. From a dependence-based perspective, Q y is in the scope of Qx if the values of the variable y (possibly) covary with the values of x. From an independence-based perspective, Q y is outside the scope of Qx if y’s value is fixed relative to the values of x. This brings us to the first of our two central questions: should the scopal properties of ordinary, ‘unmarked’ indefinites be characterized in terms of dependence or in terms of independence? The difference between these two conceptualizations is that a dependence-based approach establishes which quantifier(s) Q y is dependent on, while an independence-based approach establishes which quantifier(s) Q y is independent of. Logical semantics has taken both paths to the notion of scope: compare the standard, dependence-based semantics of first-order logic (FOL) – or the dependence-driven Skolemization procedure – with the independence-based semantics of Independence-Friendly Logic (IFL, Hintikka 1973, Sandu 1993, Hodges 1997, Väänänen 2007 among others). Natural language semantics has only taken the dependence-based path.



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