Compositionality without word boundaries: (THE) MORE and (THE) MOST
Anna Szabolcsi
September 2012

This paper seeks to illustrate the advantages of not taking phonological words to be building blocks for compositional semantics. It pursues the same approach as Szabolcsi, Whang, and Zu (2012), but focuses on a very different problem. Following Bobaljik (2012), it derives the so-called relative readings of amount superlatives in two steps, [[[d-many] comparative] superlative]. The existence of two comparative constructions is revealed, involving MORE vs. THE MORE. Each serves as the basis for a different superlative construction, explaining the conflicting intuitions about superlatives in the literature, as well as puzzles relating to the definite article in superlatives.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/001571
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Proceedings of the 22nd Semantics and Linguistic Theory Conference, held at University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, May 18 - May 20, 2012, edited by Anca Chereches. pp. 1-25.
keywords: comparative, superlative, relative reading, proportional, focus, suppletive morphology, semantics, morphology, syntax
previous versions: v3 [September 2012]
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