Article published in:Pejoration
Edited by Rita Finkbeiner, Jörg Meibauer and Heike Wiese
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 228] 2016
► pp. 75–102
Quantification with pejoratives
Following the influential work of Potts (2005), pejoratives have often been understood as expressive items that contribute content to a different dimension of meaning. In this paper, we will show that the standard formal tools as offered by Potts’s work and our subsequent extensions of his system (Gutzmann 2011; McCready 2010), cannot deal with certain kinds of data regarding quantification with what we call verbal pejoratives (like German beglotzen ‘to google at’ or Japanese anti-honorifics like chimau), which have not been studied in much detail. The problem is that there is no way in those systems to quantify across two meaning dimensions at once. To overcome this, we propose a reformulation of the framework that is based on the idea of compositional multidimensionality: instead of having just some expressions having multidimensional content, every expression receives a full multidimensional treatment. This solves the two problems of cross-dimensional quantification, since a simple multidimensional rule for multidimensional functional application together with a hybridization type shift rule allows a quantifier to apply to both dimensions of a verbal pejorative argument.
Keywords: use-conditional meaning, quantification, verbal pejoratives, compositional multidimensionality
Published online: 31 March 2016