The interpretation of singular nouns in the scope of an event-distributive quantifier

Piotr Gulgowski 1
  • 1 Institute of English Studies, University of Wrocław, Wrocław, Poland

Abstract

Singular nouns in the scope of a distributive operator have been shown to be treated as conceptually plural (). The source of this conceptual plurality is not fully clear. In particular, it is not known whether the concept of plurality associated with a singular noun originates from distributing over multiple objects or multiple events. In the present experiment, iterative expressions (distribution over events) were contrasted with collective and distributive sentences using a Stroop-like interference technique (; ). A trend in the data suggests that event distributivity does not elicit a plural interpretation of a grammatically singular noun, however the results were not statistically significant. Possible causes of the non-significant results are discussed.

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