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Equatives and Maximality

  • Luka CrničEmail author
  • Danny Fox
Chapter

Abstract

There is one salient difference between equative constructions like John drove as fast as Mary did in English and Slovenian: while the former do not allow a downward-entailing operator to occur in the standard clause and c-command the degree argument that is abstracted over, the latter do. This holds, however, only if the equative occurs without a multiplicative degree modifier. We show how these facts can be captured on relatively simple assumptions about the make-up of equative constructions. Building on the insights of von Stechow (1984) and Rullmann (1995) about the distribution of downward-entailing operators in degree constructions, we argue that the behavior of equatives in Slovenian provides new support for the following two conclusions: (i) that maximality, although a component of equatives, is separable from the other ingredients of the construction (in line with Heim 2006, pace von Stechow 1984; Schwarzschild and Wilkinson 2002, and others) and (ii) that degree domains are always dense (the Universal Density of Measurement, Fox and Hackl 2006).

Keywords

Equatives Degree semantics Maximality Density Degree modifiers 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsThe Hebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Linguistics and PhilosophyMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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