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Omitting a quantifier in English does not mean 'all' is intended
posted Feb 7, 2018
According to a linguist with a PHD I know, this is not true. The maxim of pragmaticism applies: "In order to ascertain the meaning of an intellectual conception one should consider what practical consequences might conceivably result by necessity from the truth of that conception; and the sum of these consequences will constitute the entire meaning of the conception." –
Jul 29, 2018 12:06
I have no clue what what a maxim is, and what it means though :) –
Jul 29, 2018 12:07
So, it can mean 'all' but it does not have to? This then confirms the 'does not mean' form of this statement, no? –
Jul 29, 2018 12:52
It means it can mean 'all' as well as a broad range of other things, depending on the context. So it does allow for one of the interpretations to be 'all'. –
Jul 29, 2018 12:58
Exactly, one of the interpretations, but not exclusively. –
Jul 29, 2018 13:18
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The exact interpretation of a statement depends on the context within which it is used
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When sufficiently clear from the context that "almost all" is intended, this quantifier can be omitted
Add opposing statement
"Socratrees does not improve all online discussions" opposes "Socratrees improves online discussions"
"Some cats don't like humans" opposes "Cats like humans"
"Some Italians put pineapple on pizza" opposes "Italians don't put pineapple on pizza"
is not used.