Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 685–699 | Cite as

Visible degrees in Italian Sign Language

  • Valentina Aristodemo
  • Carlo Geraci


Data from Italian Sign Language provide evidence in favor of a degree-based analysis over a non-degree based analysis for gradable adjectives and comparative constructions. Morphological and phonological constraints identify a class of gradable adjectives in which degree variables can be overtly represented as ordered points established in the signing space by an iconic mapping. When this happens the visible degree becomes available as an antecedent for a later pronoun, as in the nominal, temporal and modal domain, showing that the same anaphoric system is at work.


Degrees Gradable adjectives Comparatives Sign Language Iconicity Degree anaphora 



We wish to thank our LIS consultants Mirko Santoro and Lorenzo Laudo. This work would not be possible without them. The work also benefited from discussion with Philippe Schlenker, Jeremy Kuhn, as well as audiences at FEAST 2015, IGG41, CGG25 and Workshop on Gradability Scale structure and Vagueness: Experimental perspective.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut Jean-Nicod, Département d’Études Cognitives, CNRS, ENS, EHESSPSL Research UniversityParisFrance

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