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Towards a Proper Treatment of “NP-Related” Floating Numeral Quantifiers in Japanese

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DOI: 10.4236/ojml.2015.54033    4,340 Downloads   4,709 Views  
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ABSTRACT

One of the central questions in linguistics is whether or not the Japanese floating numeral quantifier (FNQ) is always a distributive operator, as Gunji and Hasida (1998), Nakanishi (2004, 2007, 2008), and Kobuchi (2003, 2007) contend. This paper argues against their view and that the interpretive ambiguity is resolved if the semantic ambiguity arises due to the existence of the two different types of FNQs. It is argued that, discourse-semantically, what is crucial to the distinction between the two types of FNQs is whether an FNQ is interpreted via quantificational adverbs or quantificational determiners. This distinction is required when variance in FNQ interpretation is considered. In particular, it is shown that NP-related FNQs have much in common with referential (-like) nouns, functioning as discourse anaphoric items.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Yokota, K. (2015) Towards a Proper Treatment of “NP-Related” Floating Numeral Quantifiers in Japanese. Open Journal of Modern Linguistics, 5, 370-378. doi: 10.4236/ojml.2015.54033.

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