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The Processing and Acquisition of Reference$
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Edward A. Gibson and Neal J. Pearlmutter

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262015127

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262015127.001.0001

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Complement Focus and Reference Phenomena

Complement Focus and Reference Phenomena

Chapter:
(p.381) 15 Complement Focus and Reference Phenomena
Source:
The Processing and Acquisition of Reference
Author(s):

Anthony J. Sanford

Linda M. Moxey

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262015127.003.0015

This chapter presents the results of various experiments that investigated how different determiners and quantifiers make different sets of entities available for reference. It also reviews numerous accounts of a phenomenon known as complement set reference (compset reference) and shows that it is part of a cluster of phenomena related to negative and positive quantifiers. It then considers various attempts to explore the phenomenon in the context of discourse semantics and presents a number of psychological experiments linking the phenomenon to aspects of negativity and denial of a supposition. It shows that negative quantifiers such as few appear to allow reference to a complement set, contrary to Discourse Representation Theory.

Keywords:   determiners, quantifiers, reference, complement set, discourse semantics, negativity, denial, Discourse Representation Theory

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