Paper: Multi-Level Plurals And Distributivity

ACL ID P88-1003
Title Multi-Level Plurals And Distributivity
Venue Annual Meeting of the Association of Computational Linguistics
Session Main Conference
Year 1988

We present a computational treatment of the semantics of plural Noun Phrases which extends an earlier approach presented by Scha [7] to be able to deal with multiple-level plurals ("the boys and the girls", "the juries and the committees", etc). 1 We ar- gue that the arbitrary depth to which such plural struc- tures can be nested creates a correspondingly ar- bitrary ambiguity in the possibilities for the distribution of verbs over such NPs. We present a recursive translation rule scheme which accounts for this am- biguity, and in particular show how it allows for the option of "partial distributivity" that collective verbs have when applied to such plural Noun Phrases.