To the top

Page Manager: Webmaster
Last update: 9/11/2012 3:13 PM

Tell a friend about this page
Print version

Proportional implies rela… - University of Gothenburg, Sweden Till startsida
To content Read more about how we use cookies on

Proportional implies relative: A typological universal

Conference paper
Authors Elizabeth Coppock
Elizabeth Bogal-Allbritten
Golsa Nouri-Hosseini
Saskia Stiefeling
Published in Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America, vol.2, Austin, Texas, January 5-8, 2017 / Editor: Patrick Farrell
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science
Language en
Keywords superlatives; quantity words; proportional quantifiers
Subject categories Linguistics


We give evidence from a geographically, genetically, and typologically diverse set of languages (drawn from 26 different language families and every continent) for the following typological universal: Regardless of the morphosyntactic strategy used by a language to form superlatives, if superlative morphosyntax can be applied to 'much' or 'many', then the result can be used to express a relative reading (as in Hillary has visited the most continents (out of everyone)) but not necessarily a proportional reading (as in 'Hillary has visited most of the continents'). Thus, no language deploys the regular superlative of 'much'/'many' for the proportional but not the relative reading. We also give a rough estimate of how rare proportional readings for quantity superlatives are: about 10%. Nevertheless, we show that proportional readings arise with a diverse set of strategies for forming superlatives.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

The University of Gothenburg uses cookies to provide you with the best possible user experience. By continuing on this website, you approve of our use of cookies.  What are cookies?