The universal density of measurement

Linguistics and Philosophy 29 (5):537 - 586 (2006)
Abstract
The notion of measurement plays a central role in human cognition. We measure people’s height, the weight of physical objects, the length of stretches of time, or the size of various collections of individuals. Measurements of height, weight, and the like are commonly thought of as mappings between objects and dense scales, while measurements of collections of individuals, as implemented for instance in counting, are assumed to involve discrete scales. It is also commonly assumed that natural language makes use of both types of scales and subsequently distinguishes between two types of measurements. This paper argues against the latter assumption. It argues that natural language semantics treats all measurements uniformly as mappings from objects (individuals or collections of individuals) to dense scales, hence the Universal Density of Measurement (UDM). If the arguments are successful, there are a variety of consequences for semantics and pragmatics, and more generally for the place of the linguistic system within an overall architecture of cognition.
Keywords Number  Degrees  Implicature  Exhaustivity  Comparatives  Negative Islands
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DOI 10.1007/s10988-006-9004-4
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References found in this work BETA
Generalized Quantifiers and Natural Language.Jon Barwise & Robin Cooper - 1981 - Linguistics and Philosophy 4 (2):159--219.

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Citations of this work BETA
A Universal Scale of Comparison.Alan Clinton Bale - 2008 - Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (1):1-55.
Licensing Strong NPIs.Jon R. Gajewski - 2011 - Natural Language Semantics 19 (2):109-148.
We Do Not Count by Identity.David Liebesman - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (1):21-42.

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