Types of Degree Questions: Consequences of Different Adjective Classes

Katy McKinney-Bock


This paper observes that what constitutes an appropriate answer to a degree question differs for two types of gradable adjectives – dimension (e.g. big) and color (e.g. red). When we ask 'how big' something is, we are asking for that object's size within some reasonable limits. When we ask 'how red,' we are asking to what degree of redness (appropriate to that object) the object has. I propose that the two types of adjectives merge with degree quantifiers that have different restrictors. This accounts for the differing interpretation/answerhood conditions of dimension and color degree questions.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/exabs.v0i0.568