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Query Details

Query Subject:   The semantics of adj. like 'big'
Author:   Sanford Goldberg
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Semantics
Subject Language(s):  English

Query:   Fri, 16 Apr 1999 13:49:26 -0600 (CST)
Sanford Goldberg
The semantics of adj. like 'big'

Can anyone help me regarding the semantics and mental representation of adjectives like 'big' and 'small', i.e., adjectives whose semantic contribution depends on the noun they are modifying (to wit, a big mouse is much smaller than a small car)? Since I am a philosopher of language (and not a linguist or cognitive scientist) by profession, I would be interested in basic information as well as the state of the art on this topic. So I would be interested in any of the following:

(1) the terminology which cognitive scientists and/or linguists use to describe these adjectives, as well as the terminology used to describe the way in which these adjectives are represented in the mind/brain;

(2) references for a standard grammar-book that treats any part of this topic; and/or

(3) references for any state-of-the art article(s) from the linguistics and/or cognitive science literature on any part of this topic. ...

I request that replies be sent directly to me at

Thank you very much,
Sandy Goldberg

Sanford (Sandy) Goldberg Department of Philosophy Box 805
(515) 269-3158 Grinnell College
fax: (515) 269-4414 Grinnell, IA 50112
LL Issue: 10.546
Date posted: 16-Apr-1999


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