Unarticulated comparison classes
Relative gradable adjectives (“tall”, “big”) raise serious problems in semantics. First, I explore a few intuitions about relative gradable predicates and clarify some points. Second, I propose a multipropositionalist, Perry-inspired, perspective on relative gradable predicate utterances. Perry’s version of multipropositionalism introduces many different propositions or contents, including indexical content, referential content, and designational content, which are carried by the utterance of a single sentence. It also offers a new approach to relative gradable predicates, and suggests an explanation for the way relative predicates work in linguistic communication and for the divergent intuitions about these predicates. My approach focuses on the cognitive significance of relative gradable sentence utterances.
Keywords: Cognitive significance, John Perry, pragmatics, multipropositionalism, relative gradable adjectives, semantics
Published online: 13 August 2010