Is 'more possible' more possible in German?

Elena Herburger, Aynat Rubinstein



While some modals are clearly gradable (e.g. likely), the gradablity of possibility modals is controversial. We argue that one of the major reasons to think that possibility modals can be graded, namely the appearance of German möglich (‘possible’) and kann (‘can’) in a comparative construction involving eher, should be rethought. We argue that eher is not a simple comparative marker and propose an analysis of eher möglich in which degrees of epistemic commitment are compared, not degrees of possibility. 

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