Quantifiers in Than-Clauses

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Sigrid Beck


The paper reexamines the interpretations that quantifiers in "than"-clauses give rise to. It develops an analysis that combines an interval semantics for the "than"-clause with a standard semantics for the comparative operator. In order to mediate between the two, interpretive mechanisms like maximality and maximal informativity determine selection of a point from an interval. The interval semantics allows local interpretation of the quantifier. Selection predicts which interpretation this leads to. Cases in which the prediction appears not to be met are explained via recourse to independently attested external factors (e.g. the interpretive possibilities of indefinites). The goal of the paper is to achieve coverage of the relevant data while maintaining a simple semantics for the comparative. A secondary objective is to reexamine, restructure and extend the set of data considered in connection with the problem of quantifiers in "than"-clauses.


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