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Share Paper 3166

Trapped in the Noun Phrase: When Degree Quantifiers Can't QR
Ellen O'Connor
149-158 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


An ongoing question in the literature concerns which degree words, if any, should be analyzed as quantifiers that QR to resolve type mismatch. As is well known, scope ambiguities provide only mixed support for this type of movement analysis (Kennedy 1999, Heim 2000). This paper brings a new type of data to bear on this issue: we focus on degree fronting (e.g., too tall a man), sometimes considered a directly observable step of degree QR (Matushansky 2002). In line with this analysis, this paper observes that fronting operations are unavailable in environments that prohibit clausal QR. In such cases, the degree operator may remain in-situ, but the failure to QR leads to a non-quantificational reading where the degree clause is obligatorily omitted. These facts support a quantificational treatment of the family of fronting degree words, and in turn, argue for parallels between the domain of individuals and degrees.

Published in

Proceedings of the 32nd West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Ulrike Steindl, Thomas Borer, Huilin Fang, Alfredo García Pardo, Peter Guekguezian, Brian Hsu, Charlie O'Hara, and Iris Chuoying Ouyang
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Printed edition: $375.00