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Gradability in Natural Language – Logical and Grammatical Foundations - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Gradability in Natural Language: Logical and Grammatical Foundations

Heather Burnett


This monograph presents a new theory of the relationship between vagueness, context sensitivity, gradability, and scale structure in natural language. The book argues that particular subclasses of adjectival predicates (relative adjectives (i.e. tall), total adjectives (i.e. dry), partial adjectives (i.e. wet), and non-scalar adjectives (i.e. hexagonal)) can be distinguished through looking how their criteria of application can vary depending on context; how they display the characteristic properties of vague language; and what the properties of their associated orders (a.k.a. scales) are. It ... More

Keywords: Vagueness, adjectives, non-classical logics, scale structure, context sensitivity, semantics, plurality, gradability

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780198724797
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198724797.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Heather Burnett, author
Research Scientist, Laboratoire de Linguistique Formelle, CNRS-Université Paris 7-Denis Diderot