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ERIC Number: ED358745
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Apr-3
Pages: 20
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
The Semantics of Pragmatic Markedness.
Murphy, M. Lynne
A discussion of markedness in English questions the value of markedness theory in constructing explanatory models of linguistic meaning. It challenges the claim that pairs of terms in sentences are in a single type of relation (marked/unmarked) that accounts for all differences between the two terms, including differences in use in measure phrases, nominalization, and implications for "how" questions. Aspects of this issue discussed include the evolution of the concept of markedness, criteria for determining markedness, predictability of distribution of gradable adjectives, and problems with theories relying on markedness. Examples of how knowledge of the world affects the distribution of gradable adjectives are offered. It is concluded that the distributional patterns labeled"marked" and "unmarked" are often asymmetrical, too diverse to form monolithic categories, and too interesting not to try to account for in a more explanatory way, despite their complexity and variability. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A