Adjectives and boundedness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper examines the significance of the schematic domain of BOUNDEDNESS in
adjectives. It is proposed that boundedness in adjectives is a fundamental characteristic
associated with gradability. Cross-categorial correspondences are made to nouns and
verbs, where boundedness is a feature of countability and aktionsart respectively. Two
basic types of gradable adjectives are distinguished: those which are associated with a
boundary and those which are not. It is also shown that it is possible to change the
configuration of adjectives in terms of boundedness through contextual modulation.
Finally, it is demonstrated that the configuration of adjectives in terms of boundaries
may dominate their interpretation at the expense of the content proper, and the
adjectives become more like function words than content words.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Languages and Literature


  • schematicity, construal, gradability, comparison, adjective, boundedness
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-64
JournalCognitive Linguistics
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Publication categoryResearch

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