Adjectival 'as'-phrases as intensional secondary predicates

Sarah Zobel


This paper focuses on adjectival as-phrases that co-occur with transitive verbs, and contribute additional information on the verb’s internal arguments. I claim that these as-phrases behave like secondary predicates, specifically object-oriented depictives, but—in contrast to object-oriented depictives—contribute intensional content, a modal property. In the course of the paper, I delimit the type of as-phrases that are covered in this paper, and propose a formal analysis for these cases that builds on results by Rothstein (2003) on object-oriented depictives, and the notion of information-based modality in Kratzer 2012. I show how the analysis captures the entailment patterns found with these as-phrases, and how it can be extended to related nominal as-phrases.

Full Text:



Asher, Nicholas. 2011. Lexical Meaning in Context: A Web of Words. Cambridge:Cambridge University Press.

Beck, Sigrid & Arnim von Stechow. 2015. Events, Times and Worlds – An LF Architecture. In Christian Fortmann & Irene Rapp (eds.), Situationsargumente im Nominalbereich [Situational Arguments in the Nominal Realm], Mouton de Gruyter.

Fabricius-Hansen, Cathrine & Kjell-Johan Sæbø. 2011. Behabitive reports. In Elke Brendel (ed.), Understanding Quotation, Mouton de Gruyter.

Flaate, Inghild. 2007. Die ‘als’-Prädikative im Deutschen. Eine syntaktisch-semantische Analyse (Studien zur deutschen Grammatik 71). Stauffenburg.

Hacquard, Valentine. 2006. Aspects of modality. Cambridge, MA: MIT PhD dissertation.

Heim, Irene & Angelika Kratzer. 1998. Semantics in Generative Grammar. Blackwell.

Jäger, Gerhard. 2003. Towards an explanation of copula effects. Linguistics and Philosophy 26. 557–593.

Kratzer, Angelika. 1996. Severing the external argument from its verb. In Johan Rooryck & Laurie Zaring (eds.), Phrase Structure and the Lexicon, 109–137. Springer Netherlands.

Kratzer, Angelika. 2012. Modals and Conditionals – new and revised perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Landman, Fred. 1989. Groups II. Linguistics and Philosophy 12. 723–744.

Maienborn, Claudia. 2001. On the position and interpretation of locative modifiers. Natural Language Semantics 9. 191–240.

Maienborn, Claudia. to appear. Events and states. In Rob Truswell (ed.), Handbook of Event Structure, Oxford University Press.

Moltmann, Friederike. 1997. Intensional Verbs and Quantifiers. Natural Language Semantics 5. 1–52.

Motut, Alexandra. 2014. A semantics for object-oriented depictives. UPenn Working Papers in Linguistics 20(1). 241–250.

Müller, Stefan. 2008. Depictive Secondary Predicates in German and English. In Christoph Schroeder, Gerd Hentschel & Winfried Boeder (eds.), Secondary Predicates in Eastern European Languages and Beyond, 255–276. Oldenburg: BIS-Verlag.

Pylkkänen, Liina. 2008. Introducing Arguments. Cambride, MA: MIT Press.

Rothstein, Susan. 2003. Secondary predication and aspectual structure. In Ewald Lang (ed.), Modifying Adjuncts, Mouton de Gruyter.

Schenner, Mathias. 2009. Semantics of evidentials: German reportative modals. In Sylvia Blaho, Camelia Constantinescu & Bert Le Bruyn (eds.), Proceedings of ConSOLE XVI, Paris 2008, 178–198.

Szabo, Zoltan Gendler. 2003. On qualification. Philosophical Perspectives 17: Language and Philosophical Linguistics. 409–438.

Zobel, Sarah. in prep. A classification of German als-phrases and English as-phrases. Ms. University of Tübingen.


Add comment