Bresnan (1973) posited that more is uniformly analyzed as much-er, whether it appears with adjectives (more intelligent, redder) or nouns (more soup). On the earliest degree-semantic analysis of such constructions, much appears but is semantically inert: it serves to morphologically mark the presence of the degree argument which is introduced by adjectives and nouns (Cresswell 1976). I present an alternative analysis, one suggested by Cresswell himself: on this account, the degree argument is introduced by much. I first show how the interpretation of this morpheme as a structure-preserving mapping to the domain of degrees is motivated by data from nominal and verbal comparatives, and then how it extends to adjectival comparatives. To accomplish this, I argue that adjectives are predicates of states, and interact with degrees only in composition with much. The upshot is a theory in which much universally provides the mapping to degrees for comparison by more, regardless of the syntactic category it combines with.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of Sinn and Bedeutung 17|
|Editors||E Chemla, V Homer, G Winterstein|
|Place of Publication||Paris, France|
|Publisher||Ecole Normale Superieure|
|Number of pages||18|
|State||Published - 2012|