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ERIC Number: ED514635
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 270
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-8995-2
Pragmatic Aspects of Scalar Modifiers
Sawada, Osamu
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Chicago
This dissertation investigates the pragmatic aspects of scalar modifiers from the standpoint of the interface between semantics and pragmatics, focusing on (i) the (non) parallelism between the truth-conditional scalar modifiers and the non-truth-conditional scalar modifiers, (ii) the compositionality and dimensionality of non-truth-conditional scalar modifiers and (iii) the contribution of scalarity to discourse structure. Through a detailed analysis of the semantics and pragmatics of comparatives with indeterminate pronouns (Chapter 3), positive polarity minimizers (Chapter 4), intensifiers/expressives (Chapter 5), and scale-reversal adverbs (Chapter 6), this dissertation shows that there is a general (cross-linguistic) tendency in which a degree morphology/scalar concept that is used to express a truth-conditional scalar meaning (i.e. at-issue meaning) can also be used to express a non-truth-conditional scalar meaning (i.e. conventional implicature or CI). This "dual-use" phenomenon leads us to make the following claim: the fact that at-issue scalar meanings and CI scalar meanings share the same lexical source suggests that their meanings are closely related to each other and can therefore be analyzed in a systematic way (i.e. parallelism). However, their actual semantic/pragmatic characteristics and distribution patters are quite different (i.e. non-parallelism). The meanings of at-issue scalar modifiers are semantic (truth-conditional), while the meanings of CI scalar modifiers are pragmatic (not part of "what is said.") I will argue that the "dual-use" phenomenon provides strong evidence to support the existence of Potts's (2005) multidimensional composition system. At-issue scalar meanings and CI scalar meanings are both compositional (parallelism), but they are calculated along different dimensions (non-parallelism). However, I will also argue that Potts's CI logic is not sufficient to capture the varieties of CI scalar meaning. Although Potts's CI function application can successfully explain cases in which CI scalar modifiers are located at a higher level, it cannot explain cases in which a CI scalar modifier combines with a predicate at a lower level. I will show that McCready's (2009) mixed-type CI function applications enable us to analyze such cases. This dissertation will provide a new empirical perspective on the interface between semantics and pragmatics. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A