Lahm on “Different´´ as a Restrictor on Skolem Functions

We are happy to announce an invited talk by

David Lahm (Frankfurt a.M.)
“Different” as a Restrictor on Skolem Functions

in the Oberseminar English Linguistics, Monday, May 2, 4-6pm, room IG 3.201.


We argue that the sentence-internal and -external readings of
“different” as in (1) can receive a unified analysis if one adopts an
analysis of indefinites in terms of (a certain kind of) Skolem

(1) Every child watched a different movie

Sentence internal “different” will restrict such a function f by
requiring that f(x) be not a member of the set {f(y)|x!=y}, thus
requiring it to be injective. This gives the internal reading according
to which every child can be assigned a movie she watched without
assigning the same movie to distinct children.

Replacing {f(y)|x!=y} with the set of salient movies Sal(movie) gives
the external reading: every child watched a movie that is not
contextually salient.

We discuss some consequences of the approach and compare it with those by Brasoveanu (2011) and Bumford & Barker (2013).


Brasoveanu, Adrian. 2011. Sentence-internal “different” as quantifier-internal anaphora.  Linguistics and Philosophy 34:93–168.

Bumford, Dylan, and Chris Barker. 2013. Association with distributivity and the problem of multiple antecedents for singular “different”.  Linguistics and Philosophy 36:355–369.