"Algún" indefinite is not bound by adverbs of quantification

Luis López

Abstract

Some indefinites cannot be bound by adverbs of quantification or the generic operator. I argue that this datum follows from the internal syntax of indefinites: only those indefinites consisting of a minimal structure can be bound, bigger indefinites cannot. I present evidence from Spanish, Russian and English to support this claim. Two theoretical consequences follow. The first one is about wh-dependencies: I argue that wh-phrases cannot be regarded as noun phrases with an extra [wh] feature, but rather as very small indefinites without additional features. The second one involves exceptional scope: choice function approaches seem to run into a paradox that alternative approaches, such as Schwarszchild’s Singleton Indefinite approach, avoid. I also argue that an alternative semantic approach to binding resistance yields no fruit. Finally, I show that only small indefinites can be used as predicates, thus bolstering the approach taken in these pages.

Keywords

indefinites; adverbs of quantification; binding; wh-words; choice functions; Singleton Indefinites

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