The interaction of just with modified scalar predicates

  • William Thomas
  • Ashwini Deo

Abstract

It remains an open question whether the range of uses associated with the English particle just can be analyzed uniformly. Much previous literature has focused on the exclusive uses of just with relatively little attention paid to its non-exclusive uses. We provide an analysis for the approximative use of just, which occurs with modified scalar predicates in sentences like Mary is just taller than John or Mary is just as tall as John. We argue that this use of just has two effects: (1) it conveys that its prejacent is true at a maximal level of precision, and (2) it conveys that its prejacent is not true at any lower level of precision that would make a stronger claim. On this analysis, the approximative use of just is similar to the exclusive use in that the effect in both cases is that stronger alternatives to the prejacent are ruled out.
Published
2020-09-18
How to Cite
Thomas, W., & Deo, A. (2020). The interaction of just with modified scalar predicates. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 24(2), 354-372. https://doi.org/10.18148/sub/2020.v24i2.902