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The Semantics of Paranumerals

Abstract : The paper contrasts two semantic subclasses among expressions combining with numerals exemplified respectively by at least and more than, and contrasts these expressions with bare numerals. Even if truth conditions are often close, dynamic properties, especially anaphora and apposition, give a basis for distinguishing numerals, numerical comparatives (more than), and set comparators (at least). The paper makes the following claims : 1) bare numerals introduce in the representation a set of exactly n individuals; 2) “numerical comparatives” (more/less than n) only introduce in the representation the maximal set of individuals £x satisfying the conjunction of the NP and VP constraints, and compare the cardinality of this set to n ; “set comparators” (at least/at most) introduce two sets in the representation, £x, and a witness set, the existence of which is asserted, which is constrained as a set of n Xs, X being the descriptive content of the NP. The paper is presented in the framework of Discourse Representation Theory and is based on French data.
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Contributor : Francis Corblin <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 11:11:10 AM
Last modification on : Friday, July 2, 2021 - 9:58:02 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, September 14, 2012 - 4:47:07 PM


  • HAL Id : ijn_00000650, version 1



Francis Corblin. The Semantics of Paranumerals. 2005. ⟨ijn_00000650⟩



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