Comparisons of equality with German SO...WIE, and the relationship between degrees and propertiesCitation formats

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Comparisons of equality with German SO...WIE, and the relationship between degrees and properties. / Hohaus, Vera; Zimmmermann, Malte.

In: Journal of Semantics, Vol. 0, ffaa011, 25.11.2020.

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@article{5bf9915083804d6c9b0a8236e0cbc6a3,
title = "Comparisons of equality with German SO...WIE, and the relationship between degrees and properties",
abstract = "We present a compositionally transparent, unified semantic analysis of two kinds of so…wie-equative constructions in German, namely degree equatives and property equatives in the domain of individuals or events. Unlike in English and many other European languages (Haspelmath & Buchholz 1998, Rett 2013), both equative types in German feature the parameter marker so, suggesting a unified analysis. We show that the parallel formal expression of German degree and property equatives is accompanied by a parallel syntactic distribution (in predicative, attributive, and adverbial position), and by identical semantic properties: Both equative types allow for scope ambiguities, show negative island effects out of context, and license the negative polarity item {\"u}berhaupt {\textquoteleft}at all{\textquoteright} in the complement clause. As the same properties are also shared by German comparatives, we adopt the influential quantificational analysis of comparatives in von Stechow (1984ab), Heim (1985, 2001, 2007), and Beck (2011), and treat both German equative types in a uniform manner as expressing universal quantification over sets of degrees or over sets of properties (of individuals or events). Conceptually, the uniform marking of degree-related and property-related meanings is expected given that the abstract semantic category degree (type d⁠) can be reconstructed in terms of equivalence classes, i.e., ontologically simpler sets of individuals (type ⟨e,t⟩⁠) or events (type ⟨v,t⟩⁠). These are found in any language, showing that whether or not a language makes explicit reference to degrees (by means of gradable adjectives, degree question words, degree-only equatives) does not follow on general conceptual or semantic grounds, but is determined by the grammar of that language.",
author = "Vera Hohaus and Malte Zimmmermann",
year = "2020",
month = nov,
day = "25",
doi = "10.1093/jos/ffaa011",
language = "English",
volume = "0",
journal = "Journal of Semantics",
issn = "0167-5133",
publisher = "Oxford University Press",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Comparisons of equality with German SO...WIE, and the relationship between degrees and properties

AU - Hohaus, Vera

AU - Zimmmermann, Malte

PY - 2020/11/25

Y1 - 2020/11/25

N2 - We present a compositionally transparent, unified semantic analysis of two kinds of so…wie-equative constructions in German, namely degree equatives and property equatives in the domain of individuals or events. Unlike in English and many other European languages (Haspelmath & Buchholz 1998, Rett 2013), both equative types in German feature the parameter marker so, suggesting a unified analysis. We show that the parallel formal expression of German degree and property equatives is accompanied by a parallel syntactic distribution (in predicative, attributive, and adverbial position), and by identical semantic properties: Both equative types allow for scope ambiguities, show negative island effects out of context, and license the negative polarity item überhaupt ‘at all’ in the complement clause. As the same properties are also shared by German comparatives, we adopt the influential quantificational analysis of comparatives in von Stechow (1984ab), Heim (1985, 2001, 2007), and Beck (2011), and treat both German equative types in a uniform manner as expressing universal quantification over sets of degrees or over sets of properties (of individuals or events). Conceptually, the uniform marking of degree-related and property-related meanings is expected given that the abstract semantic category degree (type d⁠) can be reconstructed in terms of equivalence classes, i.e., ontologically simpler sets of individuals (type ⟨e,t⟩⁠) or events (type ⟨v,t⟩⁠). These are found in any language, showing that whether or not a language makes explicit reference to degrees (by means of gradable adjectives, degree question words, degree-only equatives) does not follow on general conceptual or semantic grounds, but is determined by the grammar of that language.

AB - We present a compositionally transparent, unified semantic analysis of two kinds of so…wie-equative constructions in German, namely degree equatives and property equatives in the domain of individuals or events. Unlike in English and many other European languages (Haspelmath & Buchholz 1998, Rett 2013), both equative types in German feature the parameter marker so, suggesting a unified analysis. We show that the parallel formal expression of German degree and property equatives is accompanied by a parallel syntactic distribution (in predicative, attributive, and adverbial position), and by identical semantic properties: Both equative types allow for scope ambiguities, show negative island effects out of context, and license the negative polarity item überhaupt ‘at all’ in the complement clause. As the same properties are also shared by German comparatives, we adopt the influential quantificational analysis of comparatives in von Stechow (1984ab), Heim (1985, 2001, 2007), and Beck (2011), and treat both German equative types in a uniform manner as expressing universal quantification over sets of degrees or over sets of properties (of individuals or events). Conceptually, the uniform marking of degree-related and property-related meanings is expected given that the abstract semantic category degree (type d⁠) can be reconstructed in terms of equivalence classes, i.e., ontologically simpler sets of individuals (type ⟨e,t⟩⁠) or events (type ⟨v,t⟩⁠). These are found in any language, showing that whether or not a language makes explicit reference to degrees (by means of gradable adjectives, degree question words, degree-only equatives) does not follow on general conceptual or semantic grounds, but is determined by the grammar of that language.

U2 - 10.1093/jos/ffaa011

DO - 10.1093/jos/ffaa011

M3 - Article

VL - 0

JO - Journal of Semantics

JF - Journal of Semantics

SN - 0167-5133

M1 - ffaa011

ER -