Stanley Peters and Dag Westerståhl: Quantifiers in language and logic: OUP, New York, 2006, 528 pp [Book Review]

Linguistics and Philosophy 33 (6):513 - 549 (2010)
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Quantifiers in Language and Logic (QLL) is a major contribution to natural language semantics, specifically to quantification. It integrates the extensive recent work on quantifiers in logic and linguistics. It also presents new observations and results. QLL should help linguists understand the mathematical generalizations we can make about natural language quantification, and it should interest logicians by presenting an extensive array of quantifiers that lie beyond the pale of classical logic. Here we focus on those aspects of QLL we judge to be of specific interest to linguists, and we contribute a few musings of our own, as one mark of a worthy publication is whether it stimulates the reader to seek out new observations, and QLL does. QLL is long and fairly dense, so we make no attempt to cover all the points it makes. But QLL has a topic index, a special symbols index and two tables of contents, a detailed one and an overview one, all of which help make it user friendly. QLL is presented in four parts: I, "The Logical Conception of Quantifiers and Quantification" with an introductory section "Quantification". II, "Quantifiers of Natural Language", the most extensive section in the book and of the most direct interest to linguists. III, "Beginnings of a Theory of Expressiveness, Translation, and Formalization" introduces notions of expressive power and definability, and IV, presents recent work and techniques concerning quantifier definability over finite domains, making accessible to linguists recent work in finite model theory



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Reference and generality.P. T. Geach - 1962 - Ithaca, N.Y.,: Cornell University Press. Edited by Michael C. Rea.
Mathematical Logic as Based on the Theory of Types.Bertrand Russell - 1908 - American Journal of Mathematics 30 (3):222-262.
English as a Formal Language.Richard Montague - 1970 - In Bruno Visentini (ed.), Linguaggi nella societa e nella tecnica. Edizioni di Communita. pp. 188-221.

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