Numeral Any: the view from Farsi

Luis Alonso-Ovalle, Esmail Moghiseh


This paper documents a dimension of crosslinguistic variation among Universal Free Choice Items. In English, the distribution and interpretation of any DPs containing a numeral ("numeral any") differs from that of any DPs with no numeral (Dayal 2005, 2013; Chierchia 2013). In contrast, the Farsi counterparts of any and numeral any mirror each other. Two competing analyses of the contrast between any and numeral any are assessed against the Farsi data – the Wide Scope Constraint Analysis (Chierchia 2013) and the Viability Constraint Analysis (Dayal 2013). The paper shows that, with minimal extensions, either analysis can capture the behavior of the Farsi counterpart of numeral any with distributive predicates. The situation changes, however, when the minimally modified analyses are assessed with respect to sentences with collective predicates: the extended Wide Scope Constraint Analysis captures the attested interpretation of those sentences, but the extended Viability Constraint Analysis rules them out, undergenerating.

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Copyright (c) 2021 Luis Alonso-Ovalle, Esmail Moghiseh