Events and plurality: the Jerusalem lectures

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


The main claim of this book is that the very same distinction between semantic singularity and plurality that is fundamental to the semantics of nouns in the nominal domain is operative and fundamental in the verbal domain as well, applying to verbs and verbal arguments roles. It is argued that collective interpretations of verbal arguments involve semantically singular argument roles, and that a large variety of other interpretations discussed in the literature - most importantly distributive and cumulative interpretations - can be reduced to semantic plurality. The book consists of three parts. The first part discusses Davidsonian and neo-Davidsonian event analyses of verbs and verbal roles. The second part discusses theories of semantic plurality, focussing on the analysis of collective, distributive, and cumulative readings. The third part develops a neo-Davidsonian theory of events and plurality, a theory of event-maximalization, and a theory of scopal relations, basing both the nominal and the verbal domain strictly on the semantic singularity/plurality distinction. This part provides a detailed analysis of nominal plurality, verbal plurality, and their interaction, and it is shown how these plurality interactions produce the effects of collective, distributive, cumulative, and related interpretations. The book will be of interest to theoretical linguists, in particular scholars and advanced students in semantics, or in neighboring fields of syntax, pragmatics, and computational linguistics. It will also be of interest to researchers in philosophy of language, logic, and cognitive science, and to computer scientists with an interest in the semantics of natural language.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDordrecht, The Netherlands
PublisherKluwer Academic Publishers
Number of pages381
ISBN (Electronic)0792365682, 0792365690, 9401143595, 9789401143592
ISBN (Print)9780792365693
StatePublished - 2000

Publication series

NameStudies in linguistics and philosophy
PublisherKluwer Academic Publishers

ULI Keywords

  • uli
  • Grammar, Comparative and general -- Number
  • Dual (Grammar)
  • Number (Grammar) -- Grammar, Comparative and general Number
  • Plural (Grammar)


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