Two “many”-words in Slovenian : Experimental evidence for pragmatic strengtheningPenka Stateva
, Arthur Stepanov
, 2017, original scientific article
Abstract: Slovenian features at least two lexical items that are potential semantic counterparts of the
English many, namely "veliko" and "precej", whose meaning appears close to identical. Yet speakers are
certain that the two items are not equivalent, although they find intuitively felt differences hard to pinpoint.
We argue that "precej" and "veliko" are lexically synonymous, but their meanings are pragmatically
strengthened under relevant conditions, which leads to subtle interpretative differences. Specifically, we
extend Krifka’s (2007) analysis of double negatives and propose that "veliko" is assigned the stereotypical
interpretation of a quantity degree word, whereas "precej" is identified with the non-stereotypical one and
consequently relates to moderately big amounts. To support this claim, we report the results of an experiment
involving a sentence-picture verification task, which highlight the similarities and contextually determined
differences in the use of both determiners. Our results suggest that the interpretation of "precej" is not consistent with relations in the upper part of the proportional scale and is dependent on whether or not it is in direct competition with "veliko" in the appropriate contexts.
Keywords: quantity determiner, Slovenian, pragmatic strengthening, stereotypical interpretation, sentence–picture verification task
Published in RUNG: 25.09.2017; Views: 3849; Downloads: 0
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