Quantifier Raising

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Quantifier Raising (brief: QR) is a instance of move alpha creating an operator-variable configuration at LF from which the scope of the operator can be calculated. One empirical advantage of assuming a rule of QR which mediates the determination of relative scope is that it explains the sensitivity of quantifier scope to syntactic boundedness effects. Thus consider (i) and (ii).

(i)   a   someonei loves everyonej
      b   [ someonei [ everyonej [ ti loves tj ]]]
      c   [ everyonej [ someonei [ ti loves tj ]]]
 (ii)  a   I know a girl that every boy loves
       b   [[ a girl [ that every boyj [ tj loves ]]]i [ I know ti ]]
      c  *[ every boyj [[ a girl [ that tj loves ]]i [ I know ti ]]]

The scope ambiguity in (ia) follows if QR can derive as LF either (ib) or (ic); (iia) on the other hand is not ambiguous since (iic) can not be derived without violating the Complex NP Constraint. Other advantages of QR are in the description of Weak Crossover and Antecedent Contained Deletion. The exact conditions that govern the application of QR, however, remain unclear.


Pesetsky (1985) extends the use of QR to morphological structures, and argues that QR can be used to solve the problem of the so-called bracketing paradoxes.



  • Hoeksema, J. 1987. Relating Word Structure and Logical Form, Linguistic Inquiry 18, pp. 119-126
  • Huang, James 1982. Move wh in a language without wh-movement, Linguistic review, 369-416
  • May, R.C. 1977. The Grammar of Quantification, unp. PhD diss., MIT.
  • May, Robert 1985. Logical form, MIT Press
  • Pesetsky, D. 1985. Morphology and Logical Form, Linguistic Inquiry 16, pp. 193-246
  • Spencer, A. 1991. Morphological Theory, Blackwell, Oxford.