"Enough", "too", and causal dependence


  • Linmin Zhang




Enough-/too-constructions (E/T constructions) have an implicative reading: e.g.,
Mary was clever enough to leave early yesterday entails Mary left early yesterday. I argue
that this implicative reading is not due to the lexical semantics proper of enough/too, but due
to its bi-clausal structure (e.g., the above-mentioned example is analyzed as Mary left early
yesterday because she was clever enough). I analyze enough and too simply as degree modifiers
that involve a comparison: enough means reaching the lower bound of an interval, while
too means exceeding the upper bound of an interval. Then inspired by Schulz (2011), Baglini
and Francez (2015), and Nadathur (2016), I relate the semantics of E/T constructions to causal
dependence: due to some sufficiency/excess, the infinitival complement clause in E/T constructions
is episodically or generically (depending on its aspect being perfective or imperfective)
true/false. I also argue that this infinitive has its tense and aspect marked on the main predicate
of sentences, resulting in the seeming correlation between aspect and implication in languages
that overtly make a distinction between perfective and imperfective aspects (e.g., French).
Keywords: enough, too, comparatives, causal dependence, necessary (but not necessarily sufficient)
causes, sufficient (but not necessarily necessary) causes, infinitives, implicatives.





Zhang, Linmin. 2018. „"Enough", ‚too‘, and Causal Dependence“. ZAS Papers in Linguistics 61 (Januar):481-98. https://doi.org/10.21248/zaspil.61.2018.508.