Quantization (linguistics)

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In linguistics, a quantized expression is such that, whenever it is true of some entity, it is not true of any proper subparts of that entity.[citation needed] For example, if something is an "apple", then no proper subpart of that thing is an "apple". If something is "water", then many of its subparts will also be "water". Hence, "apple" is quantized, while "water" is not.[citation needed]


Quantization has proven relevant to the proper characterization of grammatical telicity (roughly, sentences that present events as bounded/unbounded in time) and the mass/count distinction for nouns. The notion was first applied[when?][why?] to linguistic semantics by the linguist Manfred Krifka.[citation needed]


Formally, a quantization predicate QUA can be defined as follows, where is the universe of discourse, is a variable over sets, and is a mereological part structure on with the mereological part-of relation:[clarification needed][citation needed]

See also[edit]



  • Krifka, Manfred (1989). Nominal reference, temporal constitution, and quantification in event semantics.

In Renate Bartsch, Johan van Benthem, and Peter van Emde Boas (eds.), Semantics and Contextual Expressions, pp 75-115. Dordrecht: Foris.

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