Agata Renans, Yagmur Sag, Nihan Ketrez, Lyn Tieu, Raffaella Folli, George Tsoulas, Hanna de Vries, and Jacopo Romoli
under review
Publication year: 2019

In English and many other languages, the interpretation of the plural is associated with the inclusive reading in positive sentences and exclusive reading in negative sentences. Different approaches to the meaning contribution of the English plural vary in how they account for this apparent alternation across the polarities, but converge on assuming that (at least one of) the denotation(s) of the plural should include atomic individuals. Turkish, on the other hand, is often cited as one of the few known languages in which the plural only receives an exclusive interpretation (Bale & Khanjian 2014, Görgülü 2012). It remains controversial whether the Turkish plural should in fact be analysed more like the English plural (Kan 2010, Sagˇ 2017) or whether indeed it should only be assigned an exclusive denotation. We report two experiments investigating Turkish-speaking adults’ and preschool-aged children’s interpretation of positive and negative sentences containing plural nouns. The results provide clear evidence for inclusive interpretations of the plural in Turkish, supporting accounts that treat the Turkish and English plurals alike.