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Bookmark and Share Paper 2499

Degree Modifiers, Definiteness, and Specificity
Alberto Pastor
325-336 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This article studies the interferences between degree and (in)definiteness and (non)specificity. Focusing on Spanish, these interferences are explained as a result of the interaction of lexical properties of determiners and graded adjectives, and conditions of pragmatic nature. The main contributions of this article are a new distinction between operators and degree modifiers and a uniform explanation of two phenomena: the infelicity of modified graded adjectives inside definite environments, and the fact that modified graded adjectives favor the specific reading of indefinites. Underlying both phenomena there is a pragmatic feature of noteworthiness associated with degree modifiers.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 13th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium
edited by Luis A. Ortiz-López
Table of contents
Printed edition: $280.00