Interfaces and Domains of Quantification

Javier Gutiérrez-Rexach

Theoretical Developments in Hispanic Linguistics


Language Arts & Disciplines/Linguistics; Language Arts & Disciplines/Semantics
234 pp. 6x9

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“Javier Gutiérrez-Rexach is the leading scholar in the field of Spanish semantics. Interfaces and Domains of Quantification is yet another example of why he has cemented such a high reputation among his peers: the width and depth of his scholarship is truly inspiring. His knowledge of the literature in the area is encyclopedic, and it shows in every single chapter of the book. Furthermore, the main claim of the book, the crucial relevance of quantification for analyses at the interfaces, places the book at the center of one of the crucial debates in the area of formal linguistics today.” —Antxon Olarrea, University of Arizona

“This manuscript provides the reader with a deep understanding of the multifaceted nature of quantification by studying different structural forms and semantic domains of quantification in natural language. The author considers a wide collection of constructions to prove that structure and meaning do not interact in a unique fashion in the expression of quantification, and he argues convincingly that the only fully explanatory way to advance our knowledge of the syntax, semantics, and pragmatics of quantificational structures is to examine different forms associated with several quantificational domains. It will be a must-read text in Spanish/Romance linguistics.” —Alberto Pastor, Southern Methodist University

Quantification is an intrinsically complex mechanism of expression in natural language, comprising a variety of shapes and domains whose inventory has not been completely charted to date. Several linguistic forms associated with quantification in Spanish are explored in Interfaces and Domains of Quantification by Javier Gutiérrez-Rexach, from indefiniteness and ellipsis to the quantificational properties of relative clauses and adverbial particles.

Interfaces and Domains of Quantification advocates an interface approach to the grammar of Spanish quantification. Only a precise characterization of the syntactic properties of quantificational constructions and of their associated meanings allows us to understand how more general syntactic and semantic constraints are at work. Among other findings, the interaction of scope and parallelism with ellipsis is reconsidered; the structural significance of modal anchoring and essential properties for the interpretation of indefiniteness is explored in detail; additionally, quantificational variability and correlativity phenomena in relative clauses are analyzed; degree expression is characterized for concessive conditionals and superlatives; and, finally, several discourse particles with a quantificational core are shown to be critical for the articulation of semantic and discourse-pragmatic relations. Taking a detailed look at the different forms, patterns and structures associated with several quantificational domains will increase our understanding of quantification and its manifestations at different interfaces.

Javier Gutiérrez-Rexach is professor of Spanish and linguistics at The Ohio State University.