The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

LF Reading Group 9/19 - Christopher Baron (MIT)

Speaker: Christopher Baron (MIT)
Title: Measure of Change
Date and time: Wednesday, September 19, 1-2 pm
Location: 32-D461


In this presentation, I’ll discuss Kennedy & Levin’s (2007) paper, “Measure of Change.” The paper discusses so-called Degree Achievements (DAs) like (to) cool,widen, and darken, which describe some kind of change an object undergoes, and which seem to have variable telicity. Kennedy & Levin present and motivate a scalar semantics for DAs, wherein the underlying meaning is a special kind of measure function, systematically related to the measure functions that the adjectival roots of DAs denote, called `measures of change.’ The variable telicity is accounted for on the basis of the structure of the scales that the underlying adjectives make reference to. I’ll discuss some objections and issues for Kennedy & Levin’s analysis as well, in particular some that Piñón (2007) and Križ (2011) raise.