The main purpose of this paper is to provide an appropriate explanation for the so-called numeral indeterminate (NI) constructions, in which mo is accompanied by an indeterminate pronoun+ Cl(assifier). The quirky character of this construction is that apparently mo is applied to the denotation of a numeral indeterminate nan-nin as a syntactic binder and at the same it invokes a scalar reading. The assumption that mo should be a syntactic binder can be corroborated from the fact that the NI construction is degraded without the particle mo. Also mo as a scalar particle attributes an implicit large reading. This large reading can also be observed in cases where the indeterminate is replaced by a specific numeral, e,g, yo-nin-mo ‘four-Cl-mo’. To the best of my knowledge, Kobuchi-Philip (2010) and Oda (2012) are the only works that deal with this construction. Especially Oda extensively discusses every possible means to explain this construction and works out a solution by assuming that the suffix mo functions multiply as an existential quantifier and a scalar particle. Through this paper, I will support her claim for its double functions, but I will clarify that the functions are both derived from a core semantic property of mo, namely, maximality. In other words, these functions work individually, but the component of maximality is placed in the center of the semantics of both usages.
"The Particle Mo in Japanese and its Roles in Numeral Indeterminate Phrases,"
University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics: Vol. 23
, Article 19.
Available at: https://repository.upenn.edu/pwpl/vol23/iss1/19