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The Psychological Reality of Classical Quantifier Entailment Properties

Abstract : A test of directional entailment properties of classical quantifiers defined by the theory of generalised quantifiers (Barwise and Cooper, 1981) is described. Participants had to solve a task which consisted of four kinds of inference. In the first one, the premise was of the type Q - hyponym - verb - blank predicate, where Q is a classical quantifier, (e. g., some cats are [ ] ), and the question was to indicate what, if anything, can be concluded by filling up the slots in ........- hyperonym - verb - blank predicate (e. g., ........animals are [ ] ). The second kind of inference was the same, except that the hyperonym was in the premise and the hyponym in the conclusion. The third and fourth kinds of inference differed from the first two by the position of the hyperonym (resp. hyponym) which occupied the place of the predicate (e. g., some [ ] are animals). It was observed that when the directional entailment holds people respond accorddingly in most cases and that when the entailment does not hold they correctly fail to produce it. These results provide elementary, but essential empirical support to this semantic approach to quantification, as well as a prerequisite for its application to the study of reasoning with quantifiers. The implications for the psychology of reasoning are discussed.
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Contributor : Guy Politzer <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, October 31, 2007 - 1:43:27 PM
Last modification on : Friday, July 2, 2021 - 9:58:02 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Monday, April 12, 2010 - 1:06:05 AM


  • HAL Id : ijn_00184574, version 1



Guy Politzer. The Psychological Reality of Classical Quantifier Entailment Properties. Journal of Semantics, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2007, 24 (4), pp.331-343. ⟨ijn_00184574⟩



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