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Quantifier Scope as a Diagnostic for the Position of Arguments of Ditransitive Verbs


Paulina Łęska

The study presented in this book aimed to test the argument structure of ditransitive verbs in Polish with the use of quantifier scope interpretation. Since these verbs typically allow for relatively free object order, it is not clear whether any of the object orders is basic or if they constitute separate underlying structures. The study reports the results of five experiments testing acceptability of scope interpretation of Polish quantified objects in two object orders, using variables such as coordination, to reveal which scope changing mechanism is responsible for ambiguity. The results showed that only the DO-IO order allowed for scope ambiguity, however, to a different degree depending on the semantic class of the verb. This indicates that the merge position of objects is contingent upon that factor.

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