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The Meaning of More$
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Alexis Wellwood

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198804659

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198804659.001.0001

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Measuring stuff and process

Measuring stuff and process

(p.37) 3 Measuring stuff and process
The Meaning of More

Alexis Wellwood

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins the book’s survey of non-canonical comparatives, and suggests a degree-based interpretation of the expression “much” which occurs implicitly as a morphosyntactic part of “more”, and explicitly in phrases like “as much” and “too much”. Focusing on comparatives targeting mass nouns like “mud” and atelic verb phrases like “run (in the park)”, a primary goal of this analysis is to capture both the variability and constraints (especially a hypothesized “monotonicity constraint”) on measure function selection in such cases. In line with the central thesis of the book, this chapter emphasizes the role that the order-theoretic properties (when present) of a predicate plays in fixing the available dimension(s) for comparison in a given nominal or verbal comparative. The success of this analysis suggests considering whether it can apply to the canonical comparatives, which is explored in the subsequent chapter.

Keywords:   nominal comparative, verbal comparative, mass/count, telicity, monotonicity, context-dependence, mereological semantics, indeterminacy, event semantics

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