First published in 1990, this dissertation presents an event-based model-theoretic semantics for plural expressions in English. The author defends against counterarguments the hypothesis that distributive predicates are predicates of groups, and not just individuals. By defining the collective/distributive distinction in terms of event structure, he solves formal problems with previous group-level analyses. The author notes that certain adverbials have a systematic ambiguity between a reading indicating collective action, and readings indicating spatial or temporal proximity; the event-based definition of collective action makes possible a parallel treatment of these readings. This book presents a formal proposal on the algebraic structure of groups and events, and a semantically based analysis of number agreement.
Table of Contents
Preface; Chapter I: Adverbial Modification and the Interpretation of Distributive Predicates; 0. A few preliminaries 1. The distributive-collective dichotomy 2. "Intrinsic" distributives and collectives 3. Distributive predication as predication on groups 4. Group-sensitive adverbials 5.Conjoining collective and distributive verb phrases; Chapter II: Group Action and Spatio-Temporal Proximity; 0. Introduction 1. Vagueness and Ambiguity 2. The "proximity" uses if group-sensitive adverbials 3. Semantic effects of adverbial position 4. Quantifier scope 5. Event structure and group action 6. Fragment 2 7. Examples 8. Locative and temporal readings 9. Adjectival and object-oriented readings 10. Distributive predicates revisited 11. Conclusion; Chapter III: The Algebra of Groups and the Algebra of Events; 0. Introduction: Tightening up the model 1. The algebra of groups 2. A note on respectively constructions 3.Committees, etc. 4. The algebra of events as a semilattice 5. Restricting the structure of events 6. Unaugmented and augmented frames; Chapter IV: Quantifiers. Group-Level Properties and Agreement; 0. Are quantifiers sensitive to event structure? 1. Different types of group-level events 2. Event-sensitive quantification 3. Additivity, inclusion and exclusion 4. An argument-restriction account of agreement 5. Some problems 6. Agreement and the inclusion/exclusion distinction 7. Distributive determiners and plural agreement 8. Fewer than two and more than one 9. Remaining problems; References