Nez Perce is a language with a dedicated comparative morpheme and crisp judg- ments in its comparatives, but with no means to express differential measurement in its com- parative. These data can be captured by two different types of analyses: either Nez Perce has a negative setting of the Degree Semantics Parameter ([±DSP]) (Beck et al., 2009), along with a comparative operator that allows manipulation of context (Klein, 1980), or it has a positive setting of said parameter, but the comparative operator does not provide a slot for a differential degree argument. We show that the “degreeless” analysis of gradable adjectives in Nez Perce provides a unified and simple explanation for a cluster of additional properties of the language. At the same time, our findings draw attention to hitherto unattested variation within degreeless languages: other [-DSP] languages like Motu (Beck et al., 2009), Washo (Bochnak, 2015) and Warlpiri (Bowler, 2016) lack the Klein-style comparative operator present in Nez Perce.
January 1, 2019
Deal, Amy Rose, and Vera Hohaus. 2019. Vague predicates, crisp judgments. In M. Teresa Espinal, E. Castroviejo, M. Leonetti, L. McNally, & C. Real-Puigdollers (eds.), Proceedings from Sinn und Bedeutung 23, pp. 347-364. Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra (Cerdanyola del Valles).