Measurement theory in linguistics

Synthese 174 (1):151-180 (2010)
Galit W. Sassoon
Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan
This paper presents a novel semantic analysis of unit names (like pound and meter) and gradable adjectives (like tall, short and happy), inspired by measurement theory (Krantz et al. In Foundations of measurement: Additive and Polynomial Representations, 1971). Based on measurement theory’s four-way typology of measures, I claim that different adjectives are associated with different types of measures whose special characteristics, together with features of the relations denoted by unit names, explain the puzzling limited distribution of measure phrases, as well as unit-based comparisons between predicates (as in the table is longer than it is wide). All considered, my analyses support the view that the grammar of natural languages is sensitive to features of measurement theory.
Keywords Philosophy   Metaphysics   Philosophy of Language   Logic   Epistemology   Philosophy of Science
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-009-9687-5
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References found in this work BETA

On Denoting.Bertrand Russell - 2005 - Mind 114 (456):873 - 887.
Scorekeeping in a Language Game.David Lewis - 1979 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 8 (1):339--359.
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Citations of this work BETA

Strict Finitism, Feasibility, and the Sorites.Walter Dean - 2018 - Review of Symbolic Logic 11 (2):295-346.
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Modality, Scale Structure, and Scalar Reasoning.Daniel Lassiter - 2014 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (4):461-490.
Underspecification in Degree Operators.Guillaume Thomas - 2018 - Journal of Semantics 35 (1):43-93.

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