Some three students: towards a unified account of some

Stephanie Solt, Jon Stevens


This paper investigates the semantics of the some+numeral construction (e.g. Some 20 cars were involved in the accident). Contra previous analyses, we demonstrate that some+numeral is not inherently approximating, but instead can be aligned to the canonical use of some as an indefinite determiner. Drawing on estab- lished theories of the semantics of degree expressions and epistemic indefinites, we propose that on all of its uses, some encodes a domain-shifting function, which op- erates on sets of pluralities of some sort. We demonstrate that this analysis accounts for both the variable presence of an approximating effect as well as constraints on the distribution of some+numeral, and discuss some consequences for the semantics of number and degree, and for the treatment of some more generally.

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Copyright (c) 2018 Stephanie Solt, Jon Stevens