Skip to main content

Dorothy Ahn (with Heejong Ko) published in Glossa

Dorothy Ahn (with Heejong Ko of Seoul National University) recently published an article in Glossa. Please find all the details below.

Congratulations to Dr. Ahn and Dr. Ko!

On non conservativity of Korean floating quantifiers

Abstract: Since the Conservativity Universal (Barwise & Cooper 1981; Keenan & Stavi 1986) has been proposed for natural language determiners, several apparent counterexamples have been presented in the literature. Some of these, such as English only in Only students presented, have been argued to involve an adverbial structure, thus not violating Conservativity. In this paper, we focus on proportional quantifiers such as 70% in Korean, which have been shown to have a non- conservative reading when floated out of the DP (Ahn & Sauerland 2017). While Ahn & Sauerland (2017) assume that floated quantifiers are adnominal, Korean floated quantifiers have been shown to have both adnominal and adverbial variants (Ko 2014), thus leaving open the possibility that the non-conservative reading is simply resulting from an adverbial structure, like only. We test out the predictions of the adnominal and the adverbial accounts of non-conservative quantifiers in Korean. Our results show that floating quantifiers in non-conservative contexts a) cannot be definite-marked, and b) cannot be intervened by a vP-internal (low) adverbial, both of which are predicted if the non-conservative quantifier is adnominal, but not if it is adverbial. Based on these findings, we conclude that the non-conservative proportional quantifiers in Korean involve adnominal floating quantifiers. Our study thus makes a novel case for the claim that syntactic movement can be implicated in order to explain a non-conservative construal of a quantifier in languages under the Conservativity Universal.