Language and Logic advanced course:
Plurality and distributivity across language(s) and logic(s).

  • Eytan Zweig ()
  • George Tsoulas ()

Keywords: plurality, distributivity


This course offers an in-depth survey of the state of the art in the research on plurality and distributivity. While logic treats distributivity as a straightforward logical property of quantifiers and predicates, natural languages present a picture both more subtle and complex. Different languages exhibit an array of strategies for the expression of distributivity and many different constraints on what can acquire a distributive interpretation in which contexts. We present a picture of the crosslinguistic variation in the expression of distributivity drawing data from languages including English, French, German, Greek, Korean, and Japanese. Attempting synthesis of insights from plural logics and from the linguistic semantics of distributivity, we will examine what is necessary for a plural logic system that will capture the nuances expressed across natural languages. The course is addressed to students with a solid grasp of basic semantics including generalised quantifier theory and basic notions of boolean algebra.