The semantics of nouns derived from gradable adjectives

In Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 8. pp. 197-207 (2003)
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Abstract

What semantics should we attribute to nouns like "wisdom" and "generosity", which are derived from gradable adjectives? We show that, from a morphosyntactic standpoint, these nouns are mass nouns. This leads us to consider and answer the following questions. How are these nouns interpreted in their various uses? What formal representations may one associate with their interpretations? How do these depend on the semantics of the adjective? And where lies the semantic unity of nouns like wisdom and generosity with the more familiar concrete mass nouns, like wine and furniture?

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David Nicolas
École Normale Supérieure

Citations of this work

The Metaphysics of Mass Expressions.Mark Steen - 2012 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The logic of mass expressions.David Nicolas - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Towards a semantics for mass expressions derived from gradable expressions.David Nicolas - 2010 - Recherches Linguistiques de Vincennes 39:163-198.
Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 9.Emar Maier, Corien Bary & Janneke Huitink (eds.) - 2005 - Nijmegen Centre for Semantics.

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References found in this work

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Reference to Abstract Objects in Discourse.Nicholas Asher - 1993 - Dordrecht, Boston, and London: Kluwer.
Towards a common semantics for English count and mass nouns.Brendan S. Gillon - 1992 - Linguistics and Philosophy 15 (6):597 - 639.

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