Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (1):1-55 (2008)
|Abstract||Comparative constructions form two classes, those that permit direct comparisons (comparisons of measurements as in Seymour is taller than he is wide) and those that only allow indirect comparisons (comparisons of relative positions on separate scales as in Esme is more beautiful than Einstein is intelligent). In contrast with other semantic theories, this paper proposes that the interpretation of the comparative morpheme remains the same whether it appears in sentences that compare individuals directly or indirectly. To develop a unified account, I suggest that all comparisons (whether in terms of height, intelligence or beauty) involve a scale of universal degrees that are isomorphic to the rational (fractional) numbers between 0 and 1. Crucial to a unified treatment, the connection between the individuals being compared and universal degrees involves two steps. First individuals are mapped to a value on a primary scale that ranks individuals with respect to the gradable property (whether it be height, beauty or intelligence). Second, the value on the primary scale is mapped to a universal degree that encodes the value’s relative position on the primary scale. Direct comparison results if measurements such as seven feet participate in the primary scale (as in Seven feet is tall). Otherwise the result is an indirect comparison.|
|Keywords||Comparison Scales Degrees Linear orders Gradable Adjectives|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
A. Zepter (2003). How to Be Universal When You Are Existential: Negative Polarity Items in the Comparative: Entailment Along a Scale. Journal of Semantics 20 (2):193-237.
R. Portugal & B. Svaiter (2011). Weber-Fechner Law and the Optimality of the Logarithmic Scale. Minds and Machines 21 (1):73-81.
Jon Elster & John E. Roemer (eds.) (1991). Interpersonal Comparisons of Well-Being. Cambridge University Press.
D. E. Stanczak, J. G. White & W. D. Gouview (1984). Assessment of Level of Consciousness Following Severe Neurological Insult: A Comparison of the Psychometric Qualities of the Glasgow Coma Scale and the Comprehensive Level of Consciousness Scale. Journal of Neurosurgery 60:955-60.
Andrew Turner (2012). 'Placebos' and the Logic of Placebo Comparison. Biology and Philosophy 27 (3):419-432.
Eliot Tretter (2010). The Internality of Scale. Environment, Space, Place 2 (1):123-146.
Danny Fox & Martin Hackl (2006). The Universal Density of Measurement. Linguistics and Philosophy 29 (5):537 - 586.
Robert Skipper & Michael R. Hyman (1993). On Measuring Ethical Judgments. Journal of Business Ethics 12 (7):535 - 545.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads19 ( #71,113 of 722,698 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #60,006 of 722,698 )
How can I increase my downloads?