Enough, too, and causal dependence
Linmin Zhang
July 2018
 

Enough-/too-constructions (E/T constructions) have an implicative reading: e.g., "Mary was clever enough to leave early yesterday" entails "Mary left early yesterday". I argue that this implicative reading is not due to the lexical semantics proper of "enough/too", but due to its bi-clausal structure (e.g., the above-mentioned example is analyzed as "Mary left early yesterday because she was clever enough"). I analyze "enough" and "too" simply as degree modifiers that involve a comparison: "enough" means reaching the lower bound of an interval, while "too" means exceeding the upper bound of an interval. Then inspired by Schulz (2011), Baglini and Francez (2015), and Nadathur (2016), I relate the semantics of E/T constructions to causal dependence: due to some sufficiency/excess, the infinitival complement clause in E/T constructions is episodically or generically (depending on its aspect being perfective or imperfective) true/false. I also argue that this infinitive has its tense and aspect marked on the main predicate of sentences, resulting in the seeming correlation between aspect and implication in languages that overtly make a distinction between perfective and imperfective aspects (e.g., French).
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003891
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 22
keywords: enough, too, comparatives, causal dependence, necessary (but not necessarily suf- ficient) causes, sufficient (but not necessarily necessary) causes, infinitives, implicatives
previous versions: v2 [April 2018]
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