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Telescoping and Scope Economy
Ezra Keshet
324-331 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


Does syntax stop at the sentence level? Sometimes a universal quantifier in one sentence seems to bind a variable in another sentence, a phenomenon Roberts (1987) calls telescoping. Roberts proposes that the ostensive binding in telescoping is an illusion; hearers instead accommodate a covert quantified expression that binds the variable in the second sentence. Contra Roberts, this paper argues that universal quantifiers actually can scope over multiple sentences. Based on ideas by Kehler (2002), the author argues that multiple sentences in a discourse form complex syntactic objects that quantifiers can scope over, pursuant to Scope Economy restrictions on coordinate structures proposed by Fox (1999). This proposal explains certain restrictions on telescoping that Roberts's analysis could not capture without further modification.

Published in

Proceedings of the 26th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Charles B. Chang and Hannah J. Haynie
Table of contents
Printed edition: $375.00