Vol. 9 (2023)

Situations and Modality in Predicative Modal Superlatives

Lucia M. Tovena
Université Paris Cité
Damien Fleury Fleury
Université Paris Cité

Published 2023-09-30


  • Modality,
  • Predicative Modal Superlatives,
  • Semantics,
  • Situations

How to Cite

Tovena, L. M., & Fleury, D. F. (2023). Situations and Modality in Predicative Modal Superlatives. Quaderni Di Linguistica E Studi Orientali, 9, 195–211. https://doi.org/10.36253/qulso-2421-7220-15156


Predicative modal superlatives, such as Italian Luisa è stata il più calma possibile (‘Luisa was the most unperturbed possible’), state that the highest amount of calm that could be instantiated in the type of situation at hand, was associated with Luisa in the actual world. The semantic strategy proposed for tracking situations of the relevant type across worlds and varying individuals builds on the assumption that the modal adjective projects a predicate (Q) that captures specific circumstances affecting individuals that do not necessarily have a counterpart in all worlds, and that such circumstances cannot therefore be included in a standard modal base. The analysis verifies a relation between Luisa and a particular amount q in the real world w under some specific circumstances, and checks that for all amounts q’ and accessible worlds w’, if there is an individual holding the same relation to q’ in w’ and under the same circumstances, then q’ q.


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