PENN LINGUISTICS COLLOQUIUM
A Compositional Characterization of the
Edward Keenan, UCLA
As a descriptive fact, the DPs which occur most naturally in There-Ss are (boolean compounds of) those built from intersective (and preferably cardinal) Determiners (notions I define in the talk):
Int not Card
In this talk I show how to derive the intersectivity restriction from a compositional interpretation of There-Ss which, in a sense I define, treats the post-DP coda (in the class, etc.) as a domain restricting the interpretation of the DP. The compositionality problem I claim to solve is that of imposing the restriction on the N denotation in Det+N just given the Det+N denotation. Det+N might denote the same generalized quantifier (DP denotation) as some other Det'+N' even though N and N' may denote different sets. Time permitting I'll contrast my solution with Zucchi's non-compositional proposal (NALS 1995); more interestingly we'll address the question as to why the cardinal Dets and the DPs they build are more natural than the intersective non-cardinal ones.