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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 April 2021

Measuring states

Measuring states

Chapter:
(p.61) 4 Measuring states
Source:
The Meaning of More
Author(s):

Alexis Wellwood

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198804659.003.0004

This chapter extends the theory developed in the previous chapter in which an expression like “much” (implicitly as part of “more”, explicitly as part of phrases like “too much” when combined with nouns and verbs) uniformly introduces measure functions into the compositional semantics of comparatives. The present focus is on adjectival comparatives, which are typically analyzed as involving lexical specification of measures by the adjectival target. Exploring both novel and familiar data, drawn from the morphosyntactic and semantic literatures, this chapter suggests that the balance of evidence diagnoses the relevance of order-theoretic properties at the lexical level rather than the presence of lexically-specified measures. The positive proposal offered is that adjectives express properties of states, and the distinction between gradable and non-gradable is on a par with that between mass and count nouns: the former introduce non-trivial ordering relations while the latter do not.

Keywords:   adjectival comparative, adverbial comparative, intensive vs extensive measurement, indeterminacy, context-dependence, incommensurability, state, event semantics

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