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Quantificational Modification

The Semantics of Totality and Proportionality

by Zaina Hafiz Tsouhlaris

Paperback e-Book PDF
Institution: University of London
Advisor(s): Dr. Wynn Chao
Degree: Ph.D. in Linguistics
Year: 2009
Volume: 124 pages
ISBN-10: 1599423723
ISBN-13: 9781599423722


The thesis explores the syntactic and semantic dimensions of four linguistic elements that appear in Modern Greek arguably as quantifiers and modifiers, i.e., in the form of Quantificational Modifiers (QMods) olos 'all, whole, overall' and its extension olikos 'total', merikos 'some, a few, partial', ligos 'some, few, little, insignificant' and polis 'many, great, considerable'. Such QMods are analyzed as 'measure' quantifiers of scalar semantics that appear in a syntactic position common to adjectival modifiers. The thesis explores specific sets of reading and their interpretations. Such a phenomenon is common to Modern Greek, English, French and Arabic QMods and gives evidence to the universality of Quantificational Modification.

Chapter 1 discusses Quantification as semantic interpretation along with the main questions this research intends to answer, while Chapter 2 reviews recent literature on Quantification within and across languages. Chapter 3 focuses on Modern Greek expressions of Quantification and extends chapter 2 into a further discussion about the various syntactic manifestations. Chapters 4 and 5 are extensions to chapters 2 and 3 as they discuss the semantics of specific QMods as 'total' and 'partial' quantifiers, which operate on homomorphic sets of degrees and amounts.

Chapter 6 discusses the broader issues in the thesis from a theoretical and typological perspective that establishes Quantificational Modification as a universal and purely semantic subclass of Quantification. Our findings are summarized in chapter 7, followed by suggestions for expanding our investigation into other related areas.

About The Author

Zaina Hafiz Tsouhlaris studied at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada for her BA in English Literature and French language, and earned her MA at Manchester University, Manchester, UK. She lectures on Syntax, General and Applied Linguistics at Taibah University, Madina, Saudi Arabia, where she is an assistant professor. Her fields of interest include Linguistics (i.e., Semantics, Syntax, Anthropolinguistics, Historical Linguistics, Etymology, Philosophy of Language), Modern Poetry and Prose, Philosophy and Comparative Religion. She has published a collection of poems titled "Holding a Flower that Bled, He Prayed for Peace." Dr. Tsouhlaris is fluent in English, Greek, and French and speaks Arabic at a communicative level. She also has a fair knowledge of Spanish, Latin and Ancient Greek.