Linguistics and Philosophy 38 (5):437-476 (2015)

Simple locative sentences show a variety of pseudo-quantificational interpretations. Some locatives give the impression of universal quantification over parts of objects, others involve existential quantification, and yet others cannot be characterized by either of these quantificational terms. This behavior is explained by virtually all semantic theories of locatives. What has not been previously observed is that similar quantificational variability is also exhibited by locative sentences containing indefinites with the ‘a’ article. This phenomenon is especially problematic for traditional existential treatments of indefinites. We propose a solution where indefinites denote properties and are assigned locations similarly to other spatial descriptions. This Property-Eigenspace Hypothesis accounts for the correlation between the interpretations of locative indefinites and the pseudo-quantificational effects with simple entity-denoting NPs. Thereby, the proposal opens up a new empirical domain for property-based theories of indefinites, with implications for the analysis of collective descriptions, generics, negative polarity items and part–whole structure.
Keywords Indefinite  NP  Locative  PP  Property  Eigenspace
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DOI 10.1007/s10988-015-9175-y
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Generalized Quantifiers and Natural Language.John Barwise & Robin Cooper - 1981 - Linguistics and Philosophy 4 (2):159--219.

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