Maximality and minimality in comparatives

  • In this paper, I investigate more closely the contribution of modal operators to the semantics of comparatives and I show that there is no need for a maximality or minimality operator. Following Kratzer s (1981, 1991) analysis of modal elements, I assume that the meaning of a modal sentence is dependent on a conversational background and an ordering source. For comparative environments, I demonstrate that the ordering source reduces a set of possible degrees to a single degree that is most (or least) wanted or expected, i.e., maximality and minimality readings of comparative constructions are an effect of the pragmatic meaning of the modal.

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Author:Cécile MeierORCiDGND
Parent Title (German):Sixth Annual Meeting of the Gesellschaft für Semantik, University of Osnabrück 2002
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2005/04/12
Year of first Publication:2002
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2005/04/12
First Page:275
Last Page:287
Source:Sixth Annual Meeting of the Gesellschaft für Semantik, University of Osnabrück 2002.
Institutes:Sprach- und Kulturwissenschaften / Sprachwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 42 Englisch, Altenglisch / 420 Englisch, Altenglisch
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht