Quantifiers and Intervention Effects: An Experimental Investigation
Received: Jan 01, 2021 ; Revised: Aug 09, 2021 ; Accepted: Sep 17, 2021
Published Online: Dec 31, 2021
This study investigates why some quantifiers incur intervention effects while others do not at LF. Based on the understanding that controversial acceptability judgments of the relevant sentences make it difficult to precisely distinguish interveners from non-interveners, this study tests Korean intervention constructions via a formal experimentation. With reliable data from the experiment, I argue that an intervening factor is linked to the epistemic “non-specific” property and there is no absolute set of intervening quantifiers. The intervening status of a quantifier can be “off” when the addressee perceives it as a particular individual by context or real-world knowledge. This novel perspective provides a more convincing and unified account of the intervention phenomenon and its gradience in acceptability than previous studies in which the effect of “context” is ignored or underestimated.