A Lexical Approach to English Floating Quantifiers


  • Eun-Jung Yoo




This paper investigates how the syntactic and semantic characteristics of floating quantifiers (FQ) in English can be explained within the framework of the Head Driven Phrase Structure Grammar. Previous analyses treat FQs either basically as NP quantifiers (Postal 1974, Maling 1976, Sportiche 1988, Mccawley 1998), or as VP quantifiers that are syntactically and semantically distinct from NP quantifiers (Dowty & Brodie 1984). In contrast, this paper proposes an analysis in which FQs are base-generated VP modifiers as in Dowty & Brodie, but their logical (or semantic) contributions are made analogous to that of quantificational determiners, through a precise lexical description of FQs that specifies the information on "storage" and "retrieval" of the quantifier meaning. The proposed analysis is "lexical" in its nature in the sense that the syntactic and semantic properties concerning distribution and scope interaction are encoded as part of the lexical information that the FQs have.