Interpretons-nous de la meme maniere les expressions 'deux pommes' et 'deux pommes et demie'?

David Nicolas

Full paper (pdf)

Abstract: Do we interpret in the same manner the expressions 'deux pommes' and 'deux pommes et demie'? Studying their English equivalents 'two apples' and 'two and a half apples', Liebesman (2015) has recently proposed that the interpretation of both expressions involves a form of measure, distinct from simple counting. I first present Liebesman's arguments concerning English. Then I analyze the case of French. I defend the following theses: the interpretation of 'deux pommes' does use ordinary counting with natural numbers, while the interpretation of 'deux pommes et demie' involves a form of ellipsis and, in some cases, a reinterpretation of the noun 'pomme'.