S-Space Language Education Institute (언어교육원) Language Research (어학연구) Language Research (어학연구) Volume 41 Number 1/4 (2005)
Generic and Existential Readings of Bare Plurals, and Contextual Factors
- Yoon, YoungEun
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 언어교육원
- 어학연구, Vol.41 No.2, pp. 275-303
- bare plurals; generic/existential reading; individual/stagelevel predicates; topic/focus structure; current situation satisfaction; sloppy reading; context and world knowledge; domain narrowing
- Cohen and Erteschik-Shir (2002) propose that topic/focus structure determines the generic and existential interpretations of bare plurals. They propose that topic bare plurals are interpreted generically, whereas focused bare plurals are interpreted existentially. They further propose that individual/stage-level predicate distinction plus other predicate type distinctions, argument/adjunct distinction, and presuppositionallnon-presuppositional verb distinction play a role in determining the topic/focus structure of a sentence. If we delve into the data more closely, however, it is revealed that these proposed determining factors do not apply across the board. In this context, one purpose Df this paper is to point out some problems of Cohen and Erteschik-Shir's account on bare plural interpretation. The other purpose is to present a new comprehensive approach, based on notions such as "current situation satisfaction," "sloppy reading," and "context and world knowledge," which cause the process of domain narrowing of quantification.