Compositionality in Privative Adjectives: Extending Dual Content Semantics

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11667)


Privative adjectives such as fake have long posed problems to theories of adjectives in a compositional semantics. In this paper, I argue that a theory like Del Pinal’s recent Dual Content semantics, which encodes lexical entries with both an extension-determining component and a conceptual component, is best equipped to account for privativity while maintaining compositionality, but requires some revisions to do so. I provide some novel evidence for this system regarding recursive privativity to justify a new denotation for fake, use this to derive the patterns in some recent experimental data, and introduce an extension to the system to account for privative behaviors of intersective adjectives.


Privative adjectives Material adjectives Modification Conceptual structure Lexical semantics Qualia Dual Content semantics 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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