Identity Criteria of Common Nouns and dot-types for Copredication


  • Stergios Chatzikyriakidis
  • Zhaohui Luo



Copredication, especially when combined with quantification, provides interesting examples to support the idea that common nouns have their own identity criteria, as once argued for by Geach and subsequently studied by others. In this paper, revisiting the use of dot-types in modern type theories to model copredication, we show that, when both copredication and quantification are involved, CNs are not just types but should better be interpreted as types associated with their own identity criteria. In other words, formally, CNs are setoids – pairs whose first component is a type that interprets the domain of a CN and whose second component gives the identity criterion for that CN. For copredication with quantification, identity criteria play an essential role in giving a proper treatment of individuation and counting and hence constructing appropriate semantics to facilitate reasoning correctly. With CNs being setoids, the dot-type approach provides an adequate theory for copredication in general and for copredication with quantification in particular. It is further explained that the CNs-as-types approach is still the appropriate characterisation of our approach to interpreting CNs since, in phenomena that do not involve the interaction of copredication with quantification, the identity criteria of related CNs are essentially the same and can be safely ignored.