Goldilocks and degree modification
Rick Nouwen
June 2020
 

Valence -- the polar value expressed by an evaluative act -- is a somewhat illusive notion, but as I argue here not one to be ignored by degree semantics. Using the notion of Goldilocks principles, I show that there is a straightforward semantic mechanism behind valence; one that directly affects degree. As a result, I will for instance be able to explain why adverbs of degree derived from negative valence adjectives ("terribly") tend to express high degree, whereas adverbs of degree derived from positive valence adjective ("pretty") tend to express medium degree.
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Reference: lingbuzz/005261
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: draft
keywords: adverbs of degree, valence, evaluative adjectives, degree semantics, semantics
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