On Adverbs of (Space and) Time

  • Kyle RawlinsEmail author
Part of the Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy book series (SLAP, volume 93)


This paper gives an account of adverbs such as “slowly” and “quickly” in a range of positions, focusing on their interaction with measure phrases in the comparative. To account for the unusual pattern of measure phrases, I arrive at a proposal with the following components: (i) such adverbs need to be treated as measure functions on events in a framework for gradable predicates, (ii) in combination with ‘non-quantized’ events, the measurement distributes over event structure, (iii) the distribution of types measure phrases follows from whether the measurement distributes or not, and consequently, from the aspectual properties of the modified phrase, and (iv) the notion of ‘manner’ involved in such adverbs emerges from distributivity. The analysis sheds new light on the notion of gradability across categories, and especially what it means for a modifier to contribute manner modification.


Comparison Class Manner Modification Measure Phrase Gradable Adjective Homogeneity Criterion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



For discussion of this and related work I am grateful to Judith Aissen, Boban Arsenijevic, Donka Farkas, Veerle van Geenhoven (especially), Berit Gehrke, Graham Katz, Jean-Pierre Koenig, Ruth Kramer, Chris Kennedy, Angelika Kratzer, Louise McNally, Anita Mittwoch, Marcin Morzycki, Florian Schwarz, and audiences at the subatomic event semantics workshop at UPF in March 2010, the UPenn IGERT summer undergraduate workshop in 2010, and the JHU semantics lab. I am especially grateful to Fabienne Martin and an anonymous reviewer for extensive written comments.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cognitive Science DepartmentJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA

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