Michael Glanzberg

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780199552238
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191577451 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy


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The study of quantification in natural language has made remarkable progress. Quantification in natural language has been investigated extensively by philosophers, logicians, and linguists. The result has been an elegant and far-reaching theory. This article presents a survey of some of the important components of this theory. The first section presents the core of the theory of generalized quantifiers. This theory explores the range of expressions of generality in natural language, and studies some of their logical properties. The second section turns to issues of how quantifiers enter into scope relations. Here there is less unanimity than in the theory of generalized quantifiers. Two basic approaches, representative of the main theories in the literature, are sketched and compared. The final section turns briefly to the general question of what a quantifier is.

Keywords: quantification; natural language; expressions of generality; logical properties; quantifier; logicality

Article.  12858 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language ; Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic

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