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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 occasions

Measuring occasions

(p.112) 6 Measuring occasions
The Meaning of More

Alexis Wellwood

Oxford University Press

While much of the tradition in degree semantics has focused on the distribution and interpretation of comparatives targeting adjectives, this chapter discusses a class of adjectival comparatives that appears to have gone unnoticed. That is, traditional accounts focus on the interpretation of phrases like “more patient”, while the present chapter considers how such phrases differ from minimally different targets like “patient more”. Probing the meaning of the latter sort of case, this chapter suggests an analysis in which they are interpreted rather like plural verbal comparatives—i.e., as comparisons between numbers of events. This proposal includes a novel approach to the distinction between stage-level and individual-level adjectival predications, such that the former allows for its (base) stative property to be mapped to a plurality of discrete (i.e., maximal and non-overlapping) occasions during which the relevant state(s) hold.

Keywords:   adjectival comparative, plurality, states vs occasions, individual/stage level distinction, temporal modification, event semantics, adverbial comparative

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