Brasoveanu, Adrian 2007. Donkey Pluralities: Plural
Information States vs. Non-atomic Individuals, to appear in the Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 11.
paper argues that two distinct and independent notions of plurality are
involved in natural language anaphora and quantification: plural reference, i.e. the usual non-atomic individuals, e.g. the non-atomic individual megan+gaby that is the sum of the two atoms megan and gaby and that the
sentence Megan and Gaby are deskmates
is about, and plural discourse reference,
i.e. reference to a quantificational dependency between sets of objects (atomic
/ non-atomic individuals) that is established and subsequently elaborated upon
in discourse, e.g. the dependency between gifts and girls introduced in the
first conjunct and elaborated upon in the second conjunct of sentence (1)
However, morphologically plural anaphora of the
kind instantiated in (1) does not provide a clear-cut argument for
distinguishing plural reference and plural discourse reference: both notions /
either notion could be involved in the interpretation of (1). I will therefore
use sentences with multiple instances of singular donkey anaphora like (2) and (3)
below to provide independent semantic motivation for plural discourse reference
over and above plural reference. The final dynamic system (couched in classical
type logic) will also be able to capture the intuitive parallels between
singular and plural (donkey) anaphora, e.g. the parallel between the
interpretations of (3) and (4) below, as well as the incompatibility between singular
donkey anaphora and collective predicates exemplified in (5) below.
(1) John bought au gift for everyu'
girl in his class and asked theiru'
deskmates to wrap themu.
person who buys au' book
on amazon.com and has au''
credit card uses itu'' to
pay for itu'.
boy who bought au'
Christmas gift for au''
girl in his class asked heru''
deskmate to wrap itu'.
parent who gives au'
balloon / threeu' balloons
to twou'' boys expects
themu'' to end up fighting
(each other) for itu' /
(based on an example due to Maria Bittner, p.c.)
(5) #Everyu farmer who owns au'
donkey gathers itu' around
the fire at night.
(based on an example in Kanazawa 2001)