Vague predicates, crisp judgments

  • Amy Rose Deal
  • Vera Hohaus

Abstract

Nez Perce is a language  with a dedicated comparative  morpheme and crisp judgments in its comparatives, but with no means to express differential measurement in its comparative.  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.
Published
2019-07-24
How to Cite
Deal, A. R., & Hohaus, V. (2019). Vague predicates, crisp judgments. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 23(1), 347-364. https://doi.org/10.18148/sub/2019.v23i1.537