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ERIC Number: EJ1020904
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0163-853X
Partition If You Must: Evidence for a No Extra Times Principle
Clifton, Charles, Jr.; Frazier, Lyn
Discourse Processes: A Multidisciplinary Journal, v50 n8 p616-630 2013
Plural phrases are open to many interpretations in English, where cumulative interpretations of noun and verb phrases are possible without any disambiguating morphology. A sentence like "Every week, the high school kids went to the movies or the ballgame" might involve quantifying over multiple occurrences of a single scenario, in which subsets of the kids do different things, or it might involve quantifying over distinct scenarios, in which all of the kids do one thing or all of them do the other. We pursue the No Extra Times principle that favors interpretations where a phrase is construed as describing a single event taking place during a given time period. In two written interpretation studies, we found that participants more often interpret indeterminate sentences with disjunctive predicates by partitioning the set of individuals rather than partitioning the predicate to denote distinct scenarios or times. We conclude by offering some speculations about why partitioning the eventuality denoted by the verb phrase into multiple times is more costly than partitioning the entities denoted by its subject noun phrase into multiple sets.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A