Two types of most

Carmen Dobrovie-Sorin


The empirical puzzle to be solved is the contrast between partitive and non-partitive most (which respectively take of-DP and NP restrictors, respectively) wrt their compatibility with a collective predicate (or a collectively interpreted mixed predicate) in the nuclear scope. The proposal will rely on the ‘null hypothesis’ regarding the correspondence between syntactic categories and semantic type: DPs and NPs respectively denote entities and sets of entities. Our puzzle will be solved by explaining why set-restrictor quantifiers cannot denote relations between sets of plural entities whereas entity-restrictor quantifiers can denote relations between plural entities. It will also be argued that plural bare NPs in the restrictor of most can be kind-denoting (in addition to being set-denoting) in English. Throughout the paper the main generalizations will be strengthened or refined by taking into account the Romanian counterparts of the relevant dat. 

Keywords: collective quantification, mass quantification, bare mass NPs, bare plurals, kind-reference

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