Inherent and coerced gradability across categories: manipulating pragmatic halos with sorta

Authors

  • Curt Anderson Michigan State University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.3765/salt.v23i0.2667

Keywords:

scales, gradability, imprecision, vagueness, modification, alternative semantics, pragmatic halos

Abstract

In this paper I provide an analysis of the English hedges sorta and kinda, which show a cross-categorial distribution and can induce gradability with non- gradable predicates. I analyze sorta and kinda as degree words and provide a formal analysis of their behavior. With gradable predicates, these behavior similar to other degree words such as very, but with non-gradable predicates, a mismatch of logical type forces the predicate to typeshift to a gradable type, making available a degree argument that represents imprecision. The analysis is developed using Morzycki's (2011) implementation of Lasersohnian pragmatic halos (Lasersohn 1999), and presents a case study in how gradability may be coerced from non- gradable expressions.

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Published

2013-08-24

Issue

Section

Articles