Abstract: The generic term fuzzy quantifier is employed in this paper to denote the collection of quantifiers in natural languages whose representative elements are: several, most, much, not many, very many, not very many, few, quite a few, large number, small number, close to five, approximately ten, frequently, etc. In our approach, such quantifiers are treated as fuzzy numbers which may be manipulated through the use of fuzzy arithmetic and, more generally, fuzzy logic.
A concept which plays an essential role in the treatment of fuzzy quantifiers is that of the cardinality of a fuzzy set. Through the use of this concept, the meaning of a proposition containing one or more fuzzy quantifiers may be represented as a system of elastic constraints whose domain is a collection of fuzzy relations in a relational database. This representation, then, provides a basis for inference from premises which contain fuzzy quantifiers. For example, from the propositions “Most U's are A's” and “Most A's are B's,” it follows that “Most2 U's are B's,” where most2 is the fuzzy product of the fuzzy proportion most with itself.
The computational approach to fuzzy quantifiers which is described in this paper may be viewed as a derivative of fuzzy logic and test-score semantics. In this semantics, the meaning of a semantic entity is represented as a procedure which tests, scores and aggregates the elastic constraints which are induced by the entity in question.