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Constraints on Numerical Expressions$
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Chris Cummins

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199687909

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199687909.001.0001

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Deriving predictions from the constraint-based account

Deriving predictions from the constraint-based account

(p.52) 3 Deriving predictions from the constraint-based account
Constraints on Numerical Expressions

Chris Cummins

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses how the constraints presented in the previous chapter are predicted to influence speakers’ selection of quantity expressions, working within a framework of Optimality Theory (OT). It considers how classical OT predicts that these constraints will interact, looks briefly at other types of OT, with particular reference to those that are current in the pragmatics literature, and considers how the predictions arising from these frameworks would differ from those arising from classical OT. The question of whether these alternatives might be preferable to classical OT on the grounds of psychological plausibility is also touched upon. Finally, operating primarily within a classical OT framework, the chapter sketches a couple of the specific predictions that arise from the model, and addresses the question of how predictions about interpretation can be drawn from a model that primarily treats usage.

Keywords:   constraint, pragmatics, Optimality Theory, quantity expression, interpretation, usage

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