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Chapter 6 Kearns: Reading guide

Make sure you know what the following concepts mean and how to use them appropriately:

  • indefinite description
  • specificity
  • distributive vs. collective vs. cumulative predication
  • bare plural NP
  • generic vs. existential reading
Make sure you understand:
  • why wide scope of an indefinite description yields specific readings, narrow scope nonspecific readings;
  • that the semantics of plural NPs interact with the semantics of the predicate to yield distributive, collective, or cumulative predication (examples (8), (19)). 
Make sure you know how to:
    • paraphrase and formalize specific vs. nonspecific readings of indefinite descriptions, and its interaction with other scopal expressions (examples (1-5));
    • identify and paraphrase distributive, collective, and cumulative predication;
    • how to formalize generic vs. existential readings of bare plural NPs (example (35)).