The Syntax and Semantics of Floating Numeral Quantifiers

Kimiko Nakanishi

in The Oxford Handbook of Japanese Linguistics

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9780195307344
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

The Syntax and Semantics of Floating Numeral Quantifiers

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  • Linguistics
  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology
  • Semantics



This article investigates the two competing views on floating numeral quantifiers (FNQs)—that is, numerals that appear away from their host NPs. One view holds that FNQs are transformationally derived from their nonfloating counterparts, whereas the other assumes no transformational relation. The article also compares the two by investigating how they fare with various syntactic and semantic properties of FNQs. FNQs serve as a powerful tool for investigating Japanese syntax. The stranding view advanced by Miyagawa observes that there are certain locality restrictions on the dependency between an FNQ and its host NP. The research on Japanese FNQs has been advanced a great deal over the past few decades, although many questions still remain unanswered. It is hoped that this article will serve as a partial overview of what has been done and sheds light on some of the issues which require further investigation.

Keywords: floating numeral quantifiers; NPs; Japanese syntax; semantics; Miyagawa

Article.  13868 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Grammar, Syntax and Morphology ; Semantics

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