Typicality in the Use of English and Spanish Indefinite Quantifiers
A Functional Approach
Quantification is a topic that has traditionally and contemporarily drawn the attention of numerous theoretical linguists, whose works are of great interest but slightly less useful-ness when it comes to applying their results to applied multilingual fields, such as FLT and translation. The aim of the present paper is to show the findings of an empirical contrastive analysis that compares the behaviour of a set of English and Spanish quantifi-ers. On the basis of a first assumption that words are polyfunctional and therefore the mapping in the network of relationships across languages is not established among lexical units but across functions, this study comes out of a large-scale research which identifies a series of functions expressed by the most prototypical quantifiers in the two languages involved. The results show that the language potentials related to quantification in English and Spanish are similar to a great extent but there are significant differences concerning their speech realisations. Both the functions expressed by the selected quantifiers and their most frequent collocational patterns have been identified with a priority given to those that are typical, thus facilitating the task for applied linguists, teachers and translators who may benefit from a corpus-based description of the indefinite quantifiers.
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