Visit www.benjamins.com

Superlative adjectives and the licensing of non-modal infinitival subject relatives

MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.
This Chapter is currently unavailable for purchase.
Abstract

The present contribution proposes an analysis of adjectives that license nonmodal infinitival relative clauses. I propose to reduce the uniqueness constraint on the noun phrase modified by non-modal infinitival relatives to licensing by a contrastive identificational focus. The contrastive component ensures that the licensing adjectives exclude the existence of a still higher or lower degree: uniqueness is due to selection of the endpoint of a scale. I further propose that superlatives and comparable modifiers are polysemous. In their positive use they assert a positive proposition and entail a negative one, in which case they function as identificational foci; in their negative use, on the other hand, they assert a negative proposition and entail a positive one, in which case they function as contrastive foci. The negative use of superlatives and equivalent modifiers licenses non-modal infinitival relatives, subjunctive relative clauses (e.g. in Romance) and negative polarity items like ever. The positive use of superlatives and comparable modifiers does not license non-modal infinitival relatives, subjunctive relative clauses, and negative polarity items, but only indicative relative clauses.

References

/content/books/9789027288349-07sle
dcterms_subject,pub_keyword
6
3
Loading
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address