Additivity, scalarity and the interactions between them: Beyond 'also' and 'even'

LoLa Introductoryweek 1 each day

Yael Greenberg (Bar Ilan University)
Carla Umbach (Leibniz-Centre General Linguistics)


Abstract: ADDITIVITY and SCALARITY, linguistically encoded by alternative-sensitive operators, are in principle independent of each other: There are additives which are not scalars (e.g. 'also' / 'too'), as well as scalars which are not additives (e.g. 'only'-like particles). In this course, we intend to focus on two types of expressions where additivity and scalarity co-exist (sometimes referred to as ‘scalar additives’). The first is illustrated by English 'even', and the second by English additive 'more'. We will introduce observations, analyses, and debates in the literature, regarding similarities and differences between these types of expressions with respect to, e.g., types of scales, ‘norm-related’ effects, accentuation patterns, anaphoricity, and discourse structure. We will take a cross-linguistic stance including, e.g., data from Hebrew, German, Chinese Russian and African languages. Finally, we will broaden the picture beyond the domain of alternative-sensitive operators considering additivity in the context of expressions of sameness, similarity and distinctness.