Witnessable quantifiers license type-e meaning: Evidence from contrastive topic, equatives and supplements

Noah Constant


This paper presents three novel ways of testing which plural quantificational phrases can denote individuals (type e). Specifically, it is argued that only type-e expressions can (i) be marked as a contrastive topic in a discourse contrasting individuals, (ii) be equated with another type-e expression in an equative frame, and (iii) anchor supplementing material. The main empirical finding is that the class of quantifiers allowing type-e nominal denotations is larger than assumed on classic accounts like Reinhart 1997. Furthermore, this class is characterizable in semantic terms. The quantifiers that give rise to type-e meanings are "witnessable" in the sense of entailing the existence of an individual satisfying both their restrictor and their nuclear scope.


quantifier; choice function; exceptional wide scope; wide-scope indefinite; contrastive topic; equative; supplement

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/salt.v22i0.2652

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