Volume 22, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1877-9751
  • E-ISSN: 1877-976X
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This article provides a principled constructionist account (Goldberg & Herbst, 2021) of the main characteristics of expressions like the following: (1) (‘Juan is very into (going to) bars’), and (2) (‘Your help is very much appreciated’). Instances of this kind are best handled in terms of coercion between the intensifier and non-stative/non-gradable elements in the nominal slot of the -PPs. Specifically, these combinations qualify as individual-level predicates with a characterizing, evaluative interpretation. The specific constructional interpretations in (1)–(2) arise from contextual adjustments (Carston, 2015), encoding a person’s habits and a potential modal deontic habituality, respectively. The semantic and pragmatic properties of the sub-constructions in (1)–(2), among others, can be adequately subsumed under a family of -PP constructions, with the following general meaning: ‘X (SOMEONE/SOMETHING) (SUBJECT) IS SUBJECTIVELY CONSTRUED AS HAVING Y (A HIGHLIGHTED CLASSIFICATORY PROPERTY OF AN INDIVIDUAL/CLASS) (ATTRIBUTE)’.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): coercion; gradability; intensifier; pragmatic adjustment; subjectivity
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