A semantics for various classes of Czech numerals is presented which is based on Landman’s theory but also incorporates Chierchia’s Neo-Carlsonian approach to kinds. On the basis of a wide range of empirical data it is argued that Czech overtly lexicalizes at least two covert “sort-shifting” operators that have been stipulated in order to derive certain fine-grained semantic effects.
Constituent negation (CN) is commonly thought to be a subtype of natural language negation which does not exhibit substantial differences from the more frequent verbal negation. In this paper, I argue that at least Czech CN is different. I argue that its semantics targets both at-issue meaning and focus alternatives. The evidence will come from differences in interpretations between English and Czech with respect to negated comparatives adjoined to NPs (like no more than two people) and from many other types of negated constituents. I argue that the cross-linguistic variation can be explained if Slavic CN is treated as a focus-oriented particle, unlike English no which targets scalar alternatives.
The telicity behavior of degree achievements has been a puzzling problem to many linguists. The most successful and currently standard theory (Kennedy & Levin 2008) treats them as degree expressions lexicalizing different types of scales, which in turn influence the resulting evaluative or non-evaluative interpretation. While it may account for English, this theory does not hold up cross-linguistically. We challenge the scalar theory with new Slavic data and show that verbal prefixes influence the (non-)evaluative interpretation of degree achievements more than their underlying scales do. This proposal is formalised as an addition of two type shifters, morphosyntactically realised as prefixes, which, in result, have an evaluative/non-evaluative effect on the given degree achievement.