The grammar of measurement and comparison
301 GFS, Department of Linguistics, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA
Title of the course: The grammar of measurement and comparison
Languages employ a great variety of expressions to encode the degree to which a gradable property holds of individuals and events. The grammar of measurement and comparison thus engages one of the core concerns of linguists: the issue of universality and the limits on cross-linguistic variation. Questions also arise, as is common in the study of other linguistic phenomena, about the division of labor between lexical representation and complex structure. Furthermore, the semantic issues of measurement and comparison have clear links with number cognition. In short, this is a very rich area for those interested in semantics and its interface with syntax, above and below the word level, and in the links between linguistic and non-linguistic cognition.
This seminar examines some of the key issues and results in the morpho-semantics of gradable predicates, and in the semantics and syntax of comparative and superlative structures, pseudo-partitives and numerals, focusing on details of linguistic analysis while keeping in mind the general cognitive science questions.
Numerals and number marking