Degrees as nominalized properties: Evidence from differential verbal comparatives in Mandarin Chinese

  • Qiongpeng Luo
  • Zhiguo Xie

Abstract

Whether degrees should be modeled as simple semantic primitives or ontologically complex entities has been an issue in recent formal semantic research. This article aims to make a contribution to this scholarly enterprise by investigating the Differential Verbal Comparative (DVC) construction in Chinese. DVCs exhibit peculiar properties : (i) obligatory differentials, and (ii) DPs as differentials(e.g., liang ben xiaoshuo ‘two CL novel’). We propose that a degree is the entity correlate of a property that is formed on the basis of a measure, akin to Chierchia-style kind. This new kind of degree, coupled with a difference function-based semantics for comparatives, correctly predicts the behaviors of DVCs which would otherwise remain formally inscrutable. This article’s contributions are twofold: (i) it provides direct support for the degree-as-kind analysis by extending its empirical scope; and (ii) by combining degrees as kinds with a difference function-based semantics, it represents an improvement over the previous degree-as-kind analysis based on linear ordering.
Published
2019-05-17
How to Cite
Luo, Q., & Xie, Z. (2019). Degrees as nominalized properties: Evidence from differential verbal comparatives in Mandarin Chinese. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 22(2), 89-106. https://doi.org/10.18148/sub/2018.v22i2.72