Gradation in modified AdjPs

Elena Castroviejo-Miro

Abstract


The goal of this paper is to gain a better understanding of the composition processes underlying DegPs headed by "how" that include an adjective that is in turn modified. These include "how extremely high", "how politically incorrect" and "how damn important". The focus here is on adverbs such as "extremely", which have been used in the literature on exclamatives as a test of exclamativity, but which have not been given to this date a compositional semantics. I argue that, even if this has been challenged in the literature for Remarkably adverbs such as "surprisingly", "extremely" is a degree predicate, where degrees are not construed as positive numbers on a scale but rather as equivalence classes of individuals (Cresswell 1976). This research has interesting ramifications for the analysis of degree expressions "how" and "so" vs. "very" and "enough) and for the distinction between interrogative and exclamative clauses.

Keywords


modification, gradability, adverbs, adjectives, wh-interrogatives, wh-exclamatives, `so', `how', extremely

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/salt.v22i0.2638

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