Home > Catalogue > Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie occidentale > 57 | 2023 > A quantificational-determiner analysis of EST in relative superlatives

A quantificational-determiner analysis of EST in relative superlatives

Dobrovie-Sorin Carmen    CNRS-LLF, Université Paris Cité    

Ion Giurgea    University of Bucharest    



The goal of this paper is to reconcile the definite marking with the indefinite-like semantics of those superlatives that take a relative/comparative reading. Following Szabolcsi (1986) and Heim (1999), we will assume that the difference between absolute and relative readings of superlatives is represented at the syntactic level of semantic representation, LF (Logical Form). We will however depart from Heim’s hypothesis that what raises at LF is the superlative operator itself (EST). We will instead assume a quantificational-determiner analysis of EST, which involves two raising operations at LF: EST-raising to Spec,DP and raising of the whole superlative DP (Determiner Phrase) to a scope position in the sentence. We will examine the relative readings of quality superlatives. The generalizations and the proposed analysis are not assumed to extend to quantity superlatives.

Oct. 30, 2023
June 23, 2023
May 21, 2023

Keywords: Parasitic scopeSuperlativesDefiniteness

Copyright: © 2023 Dobrovie-Sorin Carmen, Ion Giurgea. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.