Vague predicates, crisp judgments

Abstract: 

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.

Author: 
Amy Rose Deal
Vera Hohaus
Publication date: 
January 1, 2019
Publication type: 
Recent Publication
Citation: 
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).