A study on multiple interpretations of frequency adverbs in Japanese

Tomoaki Ozawa, Hiroyuki Nishina, Kei Yoshimoto, Shigeru Sato

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

This paper is concerned with frequency adverbs in Japanese. Many linguists have pointed out that frequency statements and generic sentences have multiple readings when they co-occur with a kind of adjuncts. More often than not, the interpretation is complicated by the ambiguity of temporal adverbs and the context-dependent nature of the way operator works. In fact, frequency adverbs in Japanese cause at least four readings. We resolve this ambiguity by taking into account two factors. The first one is the syntactic structure at which a temporal adverb is located: it can stand for either an interval during which events are iterated or a temporal point for a single event. Second, we illustrate how the restriction and scope, the two arguments of the frequency operator, are decided depending on the context. Lastly, we show how semantic formulas for multiple interpretations are derived as a result of combining these factors.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Dec 1
Event19th Pacific Asia Conference on Language, Information and Computation, PACLIC 19 - Taipei, Taiwan, Province of China
Duration: 2005 Dec 12005 Dec 3

Other

Other19th Pacific Asia Conference on Language, Information and Computation, PACLIC 19
CountryTaiwan, Province of China
CityTaipei
Period05/12/105/12/3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)

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    Ozawa, T., Nishina, H., Yoshimoto, K., & Sato, S. (2005). A study on multiple interpretations of frequency adverbs in Japanese. Paper presented at 19th Pacific Asia Conference on Language, Information and Computation, PACLIC 19, Taipei, Taiwan, Province of China.