# Are there four potential readings in the examples?

I read that Fiengo & May (1994: 115-117) points out that through the analysis of strict and sloppy readings in elliptical environments, it has shed light not only on more general notions of syntactic identity (reconstruction), but also on the representation of coreference, bound variable, and E-type anaphora. According to Fiengo & May, example (40) below has four potential read-ings:

(40) Most of the plumbers love their mothers, and most of the carpenters do, too.

a. [Most of [the plumbers]1]2 love [their]2 mothers, and [most of [the carpenters]3]4 love [their]4 mothers

b. [Most of [the plumbers]1]2 love [their]2 mothers, and [most of [the carpenters]3]4 love [their]2 mothers

c. [Most of [the plumbers]1]2 love [their]1 mothers, and [most of [the carpenters]3]4 love [their]3 mothers

d. [Most of [the plumbers]1]2 love [their]1 mothers, and [most of [the carpenters]3]4 love [their]1 mothers

My question is whether or not these four different readings are possible. Which one do you prefer and why? I am totally confused and I wonder if these really exist.

If we change the quantifier most to all, I am assuming that there would be just two possible readings.

For the sentence

All of the plumbers love their mothers, and All of the carpenters do, too.

• I don’t have Fiengo & May (1994), but I don’t see why you shouldn’t add `[Most of [the plumbers]1]2 love [their]3 mothers` for the first part of the sentence, or indeed `[most of [the carpenters]4]5` for the second. If we can interpret ‘their mothers’ as ‘(all) the plumbers’ mothers’ when the subject is ‘most of the plumbers’ (which to me is stretching it), I don’t see a reason we shouldn’t be able to interpret ‘do too’ as referring to ‘love (all) the carpenters’ mothers’. Commented Nov 16, 2022 at 16:12