This article is a formal semantic study on a Mandarin Chinese particle, hen. In the literature, hen is regarded as a positive degree morpheme that introduces a contextually given standard. This work shows new data that suggest that hen provides a subjective meaning for the sentence, which cannot be explained by the previous accounts. As a result, an analysis that hen introduces an event of evaluation for determining a subjective standard from a sentient judge is provided. It is well known that certain adjectives are subjective in their lexical semantics, such as tasty and fun. This study extends the idea of subjectivity to standard setting in general, which is applicable to both subjective and non-subjective adjectives alike.
Proceedings of the 34th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Aaron Kaplan, Abby Kaplan, Miranda K. McCarvel, and Edward J. Rubin
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