Volume 25, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0378-4169
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9927
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SummaryThis paper tests on French Beck’s (2000) analysis of plural and quantified NP dependent readings of different in English. According to her, different works as a relational adjective when it depends on a plural NP, and as a comparison operator when it depends on a universally quantified NP. Beck treats as evidence in favour of her thesis the fact that German uses two distinct ‘different’ (verschieden and ander) to produce the range of possible readings of different in English. We show, however, that the opposition between différent and autre in French does not locate the border of lexical differentiation there where we find it in German and where Beck sets the functional split. Furthermore, a close scrutiny of the English data exposes inconsistencies in her analysis of different as a comparison operator. In sum, our contrastive study of the three languages does not provide evidence for a clear-cut opposition between different uses of ‘different’. On the contrary, the situation depicted is better described as a gradient divided up in different ways by the various languages when realised as lexical items.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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