|dc.description.abstract||In this thesis, I will explore the semantics of overt distributors and investigate how it interfaces with syntax and discourse. The main claims are as follows.
a. Syntax-semantics interface: Denotations of quantifiers over individuals are type-ambiguous with respect to their restrictor NP, while denotations of quantifiers over situations are constant across different syntactic positions.
b. Semantics-discourse interface: Overt distributors are classified into two types: one partitions variable assignments and the other partitions situations.
As a case study, I discuss two overt distributors in Japanese, “sorezore” and “zutsu.” As for the first thesis, I will propose that quantifiers over individuals in Japanese has several type-variants which differ in (i) whether its restrictor NP occurs local to it or nonlocal to it, and (ii) whether its restrictor NP is predicative or argumental. Furthermore, I claim that idiosyncratic properties of quantifiers over individuals are also related with this variation with respect to the restrictor update. On the other hand, quantifiers over situations do not need a set of individuals for its restrictor and do not take a restrictor NP. Accordingly, they are not type-ambiguous and have the same denotation at the prenominal position and the floating position. Their interpretive difference comes from an independent difference between nominal predicates and verbal predicatess with respect to applicability of type-shifting principles and insertablity of situation pronouns.
As for the second thesis, I claim that the semantic difference between “sorezore” and “zutsu” are best understood from the perspective of anaphoricity in dynamic semantics versus uniqueness requirement in situation semantics. “Sorezore” is anaphoric and partitions variable assignment, but “zutsu” involves uniqueness presupposition and partitions situations. Accordingly, this suggests that there are two types of overt distributors. The upshot is anaphoricity and uniqueness are two basic strategies to pick up an individual from the context because they respectively rely on two types of information content stored in the context, namely the anaphoric content and the propositional content. Thus, the dichotomy in overt distributivity can be taken as a reflection of the bipartite structure of the discourse context.||en