In this paper, we investigate, by means of a computational model, how individuals map quantifiers onto numbers and how they order quantifiers on a mental line. We selected five English quantifiers (few, fewer than half, many, more than half, and most) which differ in truth conditions and vagueness. We collected binary truth value judgment data in an online quantifier verification experiment. Using a Bayesian three-parameter logistic regression model, we separated three sources of individual differences: truth condition, vagueness, and response error. Clustering on one of the model's parameter that corresponds to truth conditions revealed four subgroups of participants with different quantifier-to-number mappings and different ranges of the mental line of quantifiers. Our findings suggest multiple sources of individual differences in semantic representations of quantifiers and support a conceptual distinction between different types of imprecision in quantifier meanings. We discuss the consequence of our findings for the main theoretical approaches to quantifiers: the bivalent truth-conditional approach and the fuzzy logic approach. We argue that the former approach neither can explain inter-individual differences nor intra-individual differences in truth conditions of vague quantifiers. The latter approach requires further specification to fully account for individual differences demonstrated in this study.

Most quantifiers have many meanings / Ramotowska, Sonia; Haaf, Julia; Van Maanen, Leendert; Szymanik, Jakub. - In: PSYCHONOMIC BULLETIN & REVIEW. - ISSN 1069-9384. - 2024:(2024). [10.3758/s13423-024-02502-7]

Most quantifiers have many meanings

Szymanik, Jakub
2024-01-01

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate, by means of a computational model, how individuals map quantifiers onto numbers and how they order quantifiers on a mental line. We selected five English quantifiers (few, fewer than half, many, more than half, and most) which differ in truth conditions and vagueness. We collected binary truth value judgment data in an online quantifier verification experiment. Using a Bayesian three-parameter logistic regression model, we separated three sources of individual differences: truth condition, vagueness, and response error. Clustering on one of the model's parameter that corresponds to truth conditions revealed four subgroups of participants with different quantifier-to-number mappings and different ranges of the mental line of quantifiers. Our findings suggest multiple sources of individual differences in semantic representations of quantifiers and support a conceptual distinction between different types of imprecision in quantifier meanings. We discuss the consequence of our findings for the main theoretical approaches to quantifiers: the bivalent truth-conditional approach and the fuzzy logic approach. We argue that the former approach neither can explain inter-individual differences nor intra-individual differences in truth conditions of vague quantifiers. The latter approach requires further specification to fully account for individual differences demonstrated in this study.
2024
Ramotowska, Sonia; Haaf, Julia; Van Maanen, Leendert; Szymanik, Jakub
Most quantifiers have many meanings / Ramotowska, Sonia; Haaf, Julia; Van Maanen, Leendert; Szymanik, Jakub. - In: PSYCHONOMIC BULLETIN & REVIEW. - ISSN 1069-9384. - 2024:(2024). [10.3758/s13423-024-02502-7]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/412753
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