Quantifier Phrases and Pronouns: Plural Reference and Anaphora

Kent Bach

in Thought and Reference

Published in print February 1994 | ISBN: 9780198240778
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680267 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

Quantifier Phrases and Pronouns: Plural Reference and Anaphora

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This chapter begins by trying to describe, without assuming any specific formalism, how quantifier phrases differ from other noun phrases. Then we will be better able to appreciate what it means to say that they can be used to refer, as a variety of examples to be given in the second section will illustrate. The third section surveys plural pronouns. The next two sections take up the interaction of quantifier phrases with pronouns. So-called ‘bound’ pronouns are often likened to variables bound by quantifiers. However, despite the impressive influence of the Fregean tradition and of Chomsky's recent (1981) theory, it is argued that the bound variable approach to pronouns is unsatisfactory and unnecessary. The chapter then extends the argument of the previous chapter — that the relation between a pronoun and its so-called antecedent is a not grammatical one — to so-called bound pronouns: the fact that the use of such a pronoun mayor may not be referentially dependent on the use of a quantifier phrase does not make the pronoun ambiguous. It is denied that when a pronoun functions as a ‘bound’ rather than as a ‘free’ pronoun it plays a different semantic role. Rather, the difference can be explained pragmatically with the help of the notion of referential dependence. The final section offers a pragmatic account of E-type pronouns used in environments containing quantifier phrases.

Keywords: quantifier phrases; reference; plural pronouns; bound pronouns; referential dependence; specific formalism

Chapter.  9022 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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