How to read easily

Charles Jones


I outline and discuss a somewhat novel reading of the adverbial element in the English middle, This bread cuts easily, in which it relates directly to the subject NP. A subject-oriented reading of easily is suggested by the non-middle This wire conducts (electricity) easily, where easily characterizes the conductive property of the wire, i.e., having low resistance. The proposed general semantic representation of the middle implicates neither the implicit agent nor the genericity often claimed for the middle.

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