Enough, too, and causal dependence

  • Linmin Zhang


Enough-/too-constructions (E/T constructions) have an implicative reading: e.g., Mary was clever enough to leave early yesterday entails Mary left early yesterday. I argue that this implicative reading is not due to the lexical semantics proper of enough/too, but due to its bi-clausal structure (e.g., the above-mentioned example is analyzed as Mary left early yesterday because she was clever enough). I analyze enough and too simply as degree modifiers that involve a comparison: enough means reaching the lower bound of an interval, while too means exceeding the upper bound of an interval. Then inspired by Schulz (2011), Baglini and Francez (2015), and Nadathur (2016), I relate the semantics of E/T constructions to causal dependence: due to some sufficiency/excess, the infinitival complement clause in E/T constructions is episodically or generically (depending on its aspect being perfective or imperfective) true/false. I also argue that this infinitive has its tense and aspect marked on the main predicate of sentences, resulting in the seeming correlation between aspect and implication in languages that overtly make a distinction between perfective and imperfective aspects (e.g., French).
How to Cite
Zhang, L. (2019). Enough, too, and causal dependence. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 22(2), 481-498. Retrieved from https://ojs.ub.uni-konstanz.de/sub/index.php/sub/article/view/118