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

Curt Anderson

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.

Keywords


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

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3765/salt.v23i0.2667

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