Attributive adjectives in Tswefap: Vague predicates in a language with degrees

  • Emily Clem

Abstract

This paper discusses the semantics of gradable verbs and adjectives in Tswefap (Narrow Grassfields; Cameroon), an ‘exceed comparative’ language. I use diagnostics proposed by Beck et al. (2009) to probe the semantic type of these gradable predicates. Interestingly, the diagnostics diverge for the two categories of gradable expressions. I argue that Tswefap gradable verbs have degree arguments, while gradable adjectives are vague ⟨e,t⟩ predicates. The fact that gradable predicates in Tswefap differ in semantic type systematically according to their syntactic category raises interesting questions for debates regarding the uniformity of the encoding of gradability across expressions of different categories. These facts suggest that even in a language with ⟨d,⟨e,t⟩⟩ predicates, gradability need not be encoded via degree arguments for all gradable expressions.
Published
2019-07-20
How to Cite
Clem, E. (2019). Attributive adjectives in Tswefap: Vague predicates in a language with degrees. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 23(1), 285-300. https://doi.org/10.18148/sub/2019.v23i1.516