Evaluative Predicates and Evaluative Uses of Ordinary Predicates

  • Isidora StojanovicEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10091)


This paper has two aims. The first is to provide a characterization of evaluative predicates (‘good’, ‘horrible’, ‘beautiful’). The second is to explain how ordinary predicates, such as ‘intense’ or ‘insane’, may be used evaluatively, and how they convey sometimes a positive and sometimes a negative evaluation, depending on the context. I propose a semantic account, which, in a nutshell, relies on the fact that evaluative predicates are typically multidimensional adjectives, and that the choice, as well as the respective weights of the relevant dimensions, may vary with the context. Thus in a context in which a negative dimension has been brought to salience, the overall evaluation carried by the use of the predicate will likely be negative; mutatis mutandis for the positive case. The paper ends with a comparison between this approach and the pragmatic approach, and suggests that rather than compete, the two complement each other.


Evaluative predicates Predicates of personal taste Multidimensional adjectives Value-judgments Expressive content Semantics-pragmatics interface 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut Jean-Nicod, CNRS, ENSPSL Research UniversityParisFrance

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