Between-noun comparisons

Galit W. Sassoon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Adjectives are typically felicitous in within-predicate comparisons— constructions of the form ‘X is more A than y’, as in This is bigger than that, but are often infelicitous in between-predicate comparisons—‘X is more A than (y is) B’, as in *Tweety is bigger than (it is) heavy. Nouns, by contrast, exhibit the inverse pattern. The challenge is to account for the felicity of between-noun comparisons, such as more a duck than a goose, while capturing the infelicity of within-noun comparisons, such as #This bird is more a duck than that one. Postulating even only ad hoc, meta-linguistic gradable interpretations for noun to capture the meaning of between-noun comparisons results in wrong predictions for within-noun comparisons and other gradable constructions (#very duck; too duck). To address this challenge, the paper exploits the psychological notion of a contrast-set. The solution correctly predicts inference patterns and truth value judgments.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLogic, Language, and Computation - 10th International Tbilisi Symposium on Logic, Language, and Computation, TbiLLC 2013, Revised Selected Papers
EditorsMartin Aher, Daniel Hole, Emil Jerabek, Clemens Kupke
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Pages276-289
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9783662469057
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015
Event10th International Tbilisi Symposium on Logic, Language, and Computation, TbiLLC 2013 - Gudauri, Georgia
Duration: 23 Sep 201327 Sep 2013

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume8984
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349

Conference

Conference10th International Tbilisi Symposium on Logic, Language, and Computation, TbiLLC 2013
Country/TerritoryGeorgia
CityGudauri
Period23/09/1327/09/13

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015.

Keywords

  • Adjective
  • Comparison
  • Contrast set
  • Dimension
  • Gradability
  • Noun

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