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      Gradability, scale structure, and the division of labor between nouns and adjectives: The case of Japanese

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          Abstract

          Japanese has three major “adjective-like” word classes, which roughly correspond to “adjectives”, “adjectival nouns”, and “precopular nouns” in Martin’s ( 1975) A Reference Grammar of Japanese. This work explores how the three classes contrast semantically, paying special attention to the notion of gradability. Their scale-structural characteristics, in comparison with the English adjective class, will be examined, aiming to contribute to a better understanding of how languages may contrast in terms of (i) how different kinds of stative predicates divide the labor in encoding different kinds of state concepts, and (ii) how the niche of their noun class (as a major part-of-speech) is delimited. The major findings include (i) that “adjectives” and “adjectival nouns” have a strong tendency to encode relative gradable concepts, (ii) that “precopular nouns” tend to be nongradable, and (iii) none of the three Japanese classes is closely tied to the feature of absolute gradability.

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          Scale Structure, Degree Modification, and the Semantics of Gradable Predicates

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            Vagueness and grammar: the semantics of relative and absolute gradable adjectives

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              Readings in english transformational grammar

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                2397-1835
                Glossa: a journal of general linguistics
                Ubiquity Press
                2397-1835
                21 March 2019
                2019
                : 4
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, JP
                [2 ]Keio University, 4-1-1 Hiyoshi, Kohoku-ku, Yokohama, JP
                Article
                10.5334/gjgl.737
                582403c8-967c-4c80-a489-c5ceb94130d5
                Copyright: © 2019 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                Categories
                Research

                General linguistics,Linguistics & Semiotics
                grammatical category,Japanese,stative predicate,adjectival noun,gradability

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