A Good Intensifier

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9067)


We provide a semantic account of the Catalan ad-adjectival modifier ben ‘well’, which yields intensification by, we argue, positively evaluating a property ascription. Formally, this translates as applying the predicate good to the saying event available to any utterance. We treat the output of this modification as a Conventional Implicature (rather than at-issue content), which is responsible for its positive polarity behavior. Additionally, we exploit the semantic similarity between this intensifier use of well with other readings of well, including manner (well written) and degree (well acquainted), which we analyze as ‘manner-in-disguise’. In our proposal, they all predicate goodness of an event.


Degree Manner Intensification Conventional implicature Positive polarity Vagueness 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ILLA-CSICMadridSpain
  2. 2.CNRS/Université Paris DiderotParisFrance

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