Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 791–828 | Cite as

Degrees as kinds

  • Curt AndersonEmail author
  • Marcin Morzycki


This paper argues that a variety of constructions in a variety of languages suggest a deep connection between kinds, manners, and degrees. We articulate a way of thinking about degrees on which this connection is less surprising, rooted in the idea that degrees are kinds of Davidsonian states. This enables us to provide a cross-categorial compositional semantics for a class of expressions that can serve as anaphors to kinds, manners, and degrees, or introduce clauses that further characterize them. A consequence of this is that equatives emerge as a special case of a more general cross-categorial phenomenon. The analysis is undergirded by independently motivated assumptions about free relatives and type shifting. It provides evidence for a view of degrees on which they are significantly more ontologically complex than is typically thought.


Degrees Kinds Manners Equatives Anaphora Relative clauses Cross-categorial phenomena 



This paper grows out of work conducted by one of the authors in collaboration with Meredith Landman (Landman and Morzycki 2003). Thanks also to Adam Gobeski, Ai Matsui, Alex Clarke, Ania Łubowicz, Anne-Michelle Tessier, Berit Gehrke, Carlos de Cuba, Chris O’Brien, Elena Castroviejo Miró, Erik Wedin, Gabriel Roisenberg Rodrigues, Geraldine Legendre, Greg Johnson, Jan Anderssen, Judith Tonhauser, Kay Ann Schlang, Kyle Rawlins, Leila Rotschy, Louise McNally, Olga Eremina, Paul Portner, Paul Smolensky, Peter Culicover, Phil Pellino, Tom Ernst, Vesela Simeonova, and audiences at The Ohio State University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Calgary, and the 2011 Workshop on Modification With and Without Modifiers in Madrid; and to Andrea Beltrama, Ryan Bochnak, and an anonymous NLLT reviewer for very helpful written comments.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African LanguagesMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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