Linguistics and Philosophy 38 (1):67-101 (2015)

Alexis Wellwood
University of Southern California
This paper explores the hypothesis that all comparative sentences— nominal, verbal, and adjectival—contain instances of a single morpheme that compositionally introduces degrees. This morpheme, sometimes pronounced much, semantically contributes a structure-preserving map from entities, events, or states, to their measures along various dimensions. A major goal of the paper is to argue that the differences in dimensionality observed across domains are a consequence of what is measured, as opposed to which expression introduces the measurement. The resulting theory has a number of interesting properties. It characterizes the notion of ‘measurement’ uniformly across comparative constructions, in terms of non-trivial structure preservation. It unifies the distinctions between mass/count nouns and atelic/telic verb phrases with that between gradable and non-gradable adjectives. Finally, it affords a uniform characterization of semantically anomalous comparisons across categories.
Keywords Comparatives  Degree constructions  Measurement  Mass-count distinction  Telicity  Gradable adjectives  Plurality  Semantics  Logical form
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DOI 10.1007/s10988-015-9165-0
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Elements of Symbolic Logic.Hans Reichenbach - 1947 - London: Dover Publications.

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Disposition Ascriptions.Simona Aimar - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (7):1667-1692.
Graded Epistemic Justification.John Hawthorne & Artūrs Logins - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (6):1845-1858.

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