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As has been discussed at length in Chapter 3, the semantics of absolute comparisons involves a comparison between a degree and the class norm or reference point 1 that is associated with a comparison class. For instance, the semantics of (6.1b) is not denoted by a predicate for “tall in a general sense”, but by one for “tall in comparison to the class norm of a comparison class C”, where C is constrained by the context in which (6.1b) occurs. This becomes immediately evident in example (6.1) where the context of the utterance, viz. (6.1a), crucially determines the valid comparison class for the description “tall(Peter,C)”.
KeywordsReference Class Class Norm Comparison Class Laser Printer Discourse Context
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