Adjectives and Adverbs: Syntax, Semantics, and Discourse by Louise McNally, Christopher Kennedy

By Louise McNally, Christopher Kennedy

During this quantity top researchers current new paintings at the semantics and pragmatics of adjectives and adverbs, and their interfaces with syntax. Its issues contain the semantics of gradability; the connection among adjectival scales and verbal element; the connection among that means and the positions of adjectives and adverbs in nominal and verbal projections; and the fine-grained semantics of alternative subclasses of adverbs and adverbs. Its objectives are to supply a accomplished imaginative and prescient of the linguistically major structural and interpretive houses of adjectives and adverbs, to spotlight the similarities among those different types, and to sign the significance of a cautious and particular integration of lexical and compositional semantics. The editors open the booklet with an outline of present learn earlier than introducing and contextualizing the remainder chapters. The paintings is aimed toward students and complicated scholars of syntax, semantics, formal pragmatics, and discourse. it's going to additionally entice researchers in philosophy, psycholinguistics, and language acquisition drawn to the syntax and semantics of adjectives and adverbs.

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For example, Simpson (2005) notes the following orders among Southeast Asian languages. (27) a. Chinese: Dem–Num–Cl–RC–Adj–N b. Thai, Khmer: N–Adj–RC–Num–Cl–Dem c. Burmese: Dem–RC–N–Adj–Num–Cl d. Hmong, Malay, Vietnamese: Num–Cl–N–Adj–RC–Dem Simpson argues for an antisymmetric (Kayne 1994) movement analysis; he assumes that the various elements are heads, whereas I am assuming that adjectives and numerals, at least, are phrasal dependents. Modulo these differences, a movement account can be simply characterized in the following terms: Chinese reflects something like the base order.

This prevents them from appearing at all with mass nouns, which lack the appropriate kind of sort. (43) a. red liquid, expensive salt, French mustard ∗ b. big liquid, ∗ tiny salt, ∗ long mustard Dimension adjectives consistently precede color, origin, and material adjectives. (44) a. an expensive big vase b. red tiny hats c. French long shoes This is explained if color, origin, and material adjectives merge below sort, for example to nP. (45) SORTP DegP SORT Deg AP very long nP SORT AP French n n NP shoe As for why such adjectives merge low, I suggest the following.

Thus I concur with Scott (2002) when he argues that APs in general are permitted to merge in whatever position makes sense for their interpretation. For example, when French is an evaluative adjective, as in a very French attitude, rather than an origin adjective, the same lexeme French might be merged in a higher position. Where I break with Scott, however, is in the fine-grainedness of the structure supporting the adjectival modification. I have suggested here that the independently motivated layers of the DP provide several different parameters of adjectival meaning (focused, count, subsective, idiomatic), and that gradability provides another parameter of meaning.

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