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Modality and gradation

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Abstract

This paper focuses on some effects and possible causes in the concatenation of two micro-developments undergone by words like <i>rather</i>. While the first one maps its semantics from an original temporal-based comparison to modal meanings, the second takes it from modal ordering to the modification of gradable predicates. A comparison is drawn with the parallel sequel of developments observed in the case of German <i>eher </i>(&#8216;sooner, rather&#8217;) especially with respect to the apparently distinct flavors of modal ordering available in the two items.

References

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