Degree Modification of Extreme Adjectives

On any speedometer, there are two kinds of what might very loosely be called ‘zones of indifference’. The first kind is found between any two marked speeds. If your speed is in fact 61 mph, it probably falls in one kind of zone of indifference. A normal speedometer is simply not designed to distinguish speeds between 60 and 65 mph, and if asked, we would probably report such a speed as ‘about 60’. There is, however, another kind of zone of indifference. It is the one that extends beyond the highest marked speed, and includes all speeds that are too fast for the speedometer to register them—all the speeds that are literally off the scale. The big-picture theoretical aim of this paper is to explore the possibility that natural languages work in more or less the same way, with both kinds of zones of indifference
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