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Re: possible readings of "John seeks a bike or a fish"
- To: marob.masa.com!cowan (John Cowan)
- Subject: Re: possible readings of "John seeks a bike or a fish"
- From: uhccux.uhcc.hawaii.edu!lee (Greg Lee)
- Date: Wed, 30 May 1990 02:22:54 GMT-10
- In-reply-to: firstname.lastname@example.org (John Cowan) "Re: possible readings of "John seeks a bike or a fish"" (May 29, 12:16pm)
} I do not understand your statements about "being in and out of several
} scopes." Something can be definite at an inner scope and indefinite
} at an outer scope, but not indefinite(definite(indefinite)), as far as
} I can see. I don't understand your example, either. Please elucidate!
I wasn't talking about definiteness. Definites without antecedents
have wide scope. (But with antecedents may have scope confined
within, for example, a negation.) In the narrow scope reading of
`John seeks a bike', the description `a bike' is attributed to
John, not the sayer of the sentence. In `Mary wants John to seek
a bike', the appropriateness of the description `a bike' for the thing
sought could be the responsibility of the speaker, Mary, or John:
There is a bike that Mary wants John to seek.
Mary wants for there to be a bike that John seeks.
Mary wants John to try for it to be a bike that he finds.
-- Greg, email@example.com (lee@uhccux on Bitnet)