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ERIC Number: ED556911
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 256
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3210-5111-7
Frozen Scope and Grammatical Optimization
Freedman, Michael
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Yale University
The literature on quantifier scope has repeatedly observed that some otherwise expected permutations of scope taking elements are unavailable. Various methods have been proffered explaining these facts. This thesis aims to unify three disparate areas where the scope of operators seems to be frozen: the interaction of universal quantifiers with negation; the interaction of quantifiers in double object constructions; and the interaction of quantifiers in German. I propose that a semantic economy constraint explains all of these cases; more specifically, I propose that derivations compete to represent a meaning and that shorter derivations tend to block longer derivations when their meanings (defined in the appropriate way) are identical. Moreover, I argue that this competition given suitable restrictions is computationally plausible. I also claim that scope economy plays a role in scope preference in general. For a given string associated with multiple possible meanings, the meaning that is derivationally shortest will be preferred modulo other factors like lexical preference and context. The combination of these two economy constraints leads to a theory that can account for scope preference both subtle and (near) categorical. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A