Logic and Language

Takanobu Nakamura: A dynamic homogeneity approach to cumulative dependencies

Speaker: Takanobu Nakamura
Title: A dynamic homogeneity approach to cumulative dependencies
Time: 16:00 - 17:30
Location: ILLC Seminar Room (Science Park 107, F 1.15)

In this talk, I discuss the anaphoric potential of cumulative readings and argue that their status poses a dilemma for the dynamic approaches to quantificational dependencies. In short, cumulative readings provide dependencies that license reciprocals and dependent indefinites, while they do not feed inter-sentential dependent anaphora. This is puzzling for the dynamic approaches because dependencies established at one point of the discourse are expected to be available in the immediately following discourse. To solve this dilemma, I adopt a trivalent dynamic analysis with the dummy individual and plural information states, i.e. sets of variable assignments, (van den Berg 1996, Nouwen 2007, Brasoveanu 2008). I suggest that cumulative readings reflect the speaker's uncertainty about dependencies, i.e. some members of the resultant plural information state involve a dummy individual. Then, I give bivalent denotations to reciprocals and dependent indefinites, while giving trivalent denotations to plural pronouns. As a result, bivalent expressions `ignore' information states with a dummy individual and cumulative dependencies behave as genuine dependencies for them. On the other hand, trivalent expressions cannot `ignore' information states with a dummy individual. Accordingly, an attempt of dependent anaphora against cumulative dependencies results in undefinedness. I call the resultant theory Homogeneous Dynamic Plural Logic, speculating that this dichotomy of bivalent expressions and trivalent expressions may be an instance of homogeneity (Kriz 2015, 2016) which arises at the level of anaphoric information.