MoL-2008-02: Gradability without Degrees

MoL-2008-02: Gaio, Silvia (2008) Gradability without Degrees. [Report]

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Abstract

The aim of my research was to develop a semantic model to account for a kind of vague predicates: relative gradable adjectives. In the first chapter I present the problem of vagueness in natural language and the paradox that characterizes it: the Sorites paradox. In the second chapter I consider the most well-known philosophical approaches to the Sorites paradox: semanticist, epistemicist, realist and contextualist. In the third chapter I characterize a specific kind of vague expressions: relative gradable adjectives such as tall, short, cheap, expensive, etc. I sketch the theories that account for them, especially the degree theories, and raise some objections against them. In the fourth chapter I present a model that aims to account for relative gradable adjectives without committing to degrees. The model is built on two ideas: contextual-sensitivity and granularity. It accounts both for the positive and the comparative form of relative adjectives. It turns out that the comparative relation gives rise to a weak order, but giving some assumptions up semiorders can be generated. In the final chapter I prove some results and make some philosophical remarks.

Item Type: Report
Report Nr: MoL-2008-02
Series Name: Master of Logic Thesis (MoL) Series
Year: 2008
Uncontrolled Keywords: Vagueness, Contextualism, Gradable Adjectives, Weak Orders, Semiorders.
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2016 14:38
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2016 14:38
URI: https://eprints.illc.uva.nl/id/eprint/797

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