Quantification in Jamaican Creole
The syntax and semantics of evri (‘every’) in interaction with indefinites
Michele Marie Kennedy
University of the West Indies, Mona
In this work, it is shown that existing scopal accounts of the interpretative possibilities associated with quantificational interaction do not explain the empirical facts in Jamaican Creole (JC), as revealed by original fieldwork conducted by the author. Moreover, it is shown that the JC universal evri and the indefinites wan and som, the forms on which the study focuses, do not display the same behaviour as their English counterparts ‘every’, ‘a(n)’ and ‘some’.
It is proposed that the key to a unified solution for these phenomena lies in the expression of number in JC with the possibilities which event structure makes available. It is argued that an articulated functional structure above the NP houses the functions associated with the individuation of nouns and with number specification. These functions which derive the different interpretations of JC evri in interaction with indefinites, are not specific or restricted to this purpose, but are shown to be necessary for any plural individual interpretation, and to apply also to the analysis of numeral NPs.
The proposed analysis means that there is no need to call on movement operations to account for the JC data. Instead, the interpretations are derived from the phrase structure and from event structure.
KEYWORDS: Quantificational interaction; scope; individuation; number specification; event structure
Michele Kennedy lectures in Syntax and Language Acquisition at the University of the West Indies, Mona.
ISBN 9783862883356. 168pp. LINCOM Studies in Pidgin and Creole Linguistics 11. 2012.