Degrees across Categories


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Title Degrees across Categories
Period 09 / 2006 - unknown
Status Completed
Research number OND1319757
Data Supplier Website LUCL


The main goal of this project is to provide a unified account of gradability across categories, addressing questions such as: * How can the cross-categorial distribution of degree expressions be accounted for? * What primitive notions are necessary to distinguish between types of scales? For instance, what distinguishes the scales found in adjectives such as difficult and in plural nouns such as books, both of which can be modified by the degree expression more as in more difficult and more books? * How do degree expressions make use of scale structure in order to restrict themselves to a subset of the gradable expressions in language? The project will work out the hypothesis that gradability has a common base across lexical categories, while at the same time these categories impose restrictions on the types of scales they can be associated with. The results will shed light on lexical categories themselves, as well as on the way they manifest themselves in syntactic structure and the way they interact with degree morphology. The research will be based on a solid empirical study of the distribution of degree modifiers in Dutch and Romance, as well as an in-depth study of reduplicative degree morphology in Indonesian and Hausa.

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Project leader Dr. J.S. Doetjes


D36000 Language and literature studies

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