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The status of degrees in Warlpiri

  • Recent work in semantics has shown that languages can vary in whether or not they include degrees (that is, elements of type < d >) in their semantic ontology. Several authors have argued that their languages of study lack degrees, including Bochnak (2013) for Washo (isolate, USA), Pearson (2009) for Fijian (Austronesian, Fiji), and Beck, et al. (2009) for Motu (Austronesian, Papua New Guinea). In this paper, I follow the tests proposed in Beck, et al. (2009) to assess the status of degrees in Warlpiri (Pama-Nyungan, Australia). I use Warlpiri data collected following the Beck, et al. survey to argue that Warlpiri gradable predicates do not combine with a degree argument. (Like many other Australian languages, adjectival concepts like big and small are expressed using nouns in Warlpiri (Dixon 1982, Bittner & Hale 1995, among others). I refer to these lexical items as “gradable predicates” in this paper.) This paper represents a first pass at assessing the status of degrees in an Australian language, which have otherwise beenRecent work in semantics has shown that languages can vary in whether or not they include degrees (that is, elements of type < d >) in their semantic ontology. Several authors have argued that their languages of study lack degrees, including Bochnak (2013) for Washo (isolate, USA), Pearson (2009) for Fijian (Austronesian, Fiji), and Beck, et al. (2009) for Motu (Austronesian, Papua New Guinea). In this paper, I follow the tests proposed in Beck, et al. (2009) to assess the status of degrees in Warlpiri (Pama-Nyungan, Australia). I use Warlpiri data collected following the Beck, et al. survey to argue that Warlpiri gradable predicates do not combine with a degree argument. (Like many other Australian languages, adjectival concepts like big and small are expressed using nouns in Warlpiri (Dixon 1982, Bittner & Hale 1995, among others). I refer to these lexical items as “gradable predicates” in this paper.) This paper represents a first pass at assessing the status of degrees in an Australian language, which have otherwise been unexamined from the point of view of degree semantics.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Margit Bowler
URN:urn:nbn:de:kobv:517-opus4-92295
Parent Title (English):Proceedings of the Semantics of African, Asian and Austronesian Languages (TripleA) 2
Editor:Mira Grubic, Anne Mucha
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2016
Year of Completion:2016
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Release Date:2016/06/23
First Page:1
Last Page:17
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Linguistik / Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 41 Linguistik / 410 Linguistik
Collections:Universität Potsdam / Sammelwerke (nicht forlaufend) / Proceedings of the Semantics of African, Asian and Austronesian Languages (TripleA) 2 / Beiträge
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung, Nicht kommerziell, Keine Bearbeitung 4.0 International