Quantification in Warlpiri

Part of the Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy book series (SLAP, volume 97)


In this chapter, I provide a descriptive overview of quantification in Warlpiri, a Pama-Nyungan language spoken by approximately 3,000 people in central Australia. Warlpiri’s quantificational system is of particular interest due to the fact that a number of Warlpiri A-quantifiers are interpreted as taking nominal scope; that is, as D-quantifiers. Conversely, a number of Warlpiri D-quantifiers are interpreted as modifying the VP or event; that is, as A-quantifiers. I show that Warlpiri has a relatively large inventory of D-quantifiers, many of which are morphologically complex. This challenges standard assumptions of quantifiers as a typically monomorphemic lexical category, and sheds light on the relevant compositional properties of Warlpiri quantifiers.



I would like to thank Mary Laughren for her very thorough and insightful comments on an early draft of this chapter, as well as Ed Keenan and David Nash. I would also like to thank Cecilia Alfonso, Gloria Morales, and Wendy Baarda in Yuendumu. Finally, my deepest thanks go to my Warlpiri consultants Nancy Napurrurla Oldfield, Alma Nungarrayi Granites, Otto Jungarrayi Sims, Erica Napurrurla Ross, and Tess Napaljarri Ross. This research was funded in part by NSF GRFP grant DGE-1144087. All remaining errors are my own.


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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