Volume 47, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
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This article describes adverbial universal quantification in Besemah, a little-described Malayic language of southwest Sumatra, and how the syntactic position of the quantifier relates to grammatical relations and information structure. Given previous descriptions of the relationship between quantifiers and grammatical relations, especially in western Austronesian languages (e.g., Kroeger 1993Musgrave 2001), Besemah presents a unique system of universal quantification wherein adverbial universal quantifiers place severe restrictions on which arguments can be quantified. I argue that these restrictions are fundamentally different than those described as ‘quantifier float’ in other languages, but they are not incidental. Instead, these restrictions can be explained by the fact that the adverbial universal quantifier also marks focus in Besemah.


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