Degrees as nominalized properties: evidence from differential verbal comparatives in Mandarin Chinese


  • Qiongpeng Luo
  • Zhiguo Xie



Whether degrees should be modeled as simple semantic primitives or ontologically
complex entities has been an issue in recent formal semantic research. This article aims to
make a contribution to this scholarly enterprise by investigating the Differential Verbal
Comparative (DVC) construction in Chinese. DVCs exhibit peculiar properties : (i)
obligatory differentials, and (ii) DPs as differentials(e.g., liang ben xiaoshuo ‘two CL novel’).
We propose that a degree is the entity correlate of a property that is formed on the basis of a
measure, akin to Chierchia-style kind. This new kind of degree, coupled with a difference
function-based semantics for comparatives, correctly predicts the behaviors of DVCs which
would otherwise remain formally inscrutable. This article’s contributions are twofold: (i) it
provides direct support for the degree-as-kind analysis by extending its empirical scope; and
(ii) by combining degrees as kinds with a difference function-based semantics, it represents
an improvement over the previous degree-as-kind analysis based on linear ordering.
Keywords: comparatives, degrees, kinds, Mandarin Chinese, differential verbal





Luo, Qiongpeng, und Zhiguo Xie. 2018. „Degrees As Nominalized Properties: Evidence from Differential Verbal Comparatives in Mandarin Chinese“. ZAS Papers in Linguistics 61 (Januar):89-106.