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"... Adjectives often associate with multiple dimensions (for example, healthy and sick may be ordered by blood pressure, pulse, sugar, cancer, etc.) So are nouns (for example, birds are characterized as small, feathered, flying, etc.) This paper presents empirical support to a typology of multidimension ..."
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Adjectives often associate with multiple dimensions (for example, healthy and sick may be ordered by blood pressure, pulse, sugar, cancer, etc.) So are nouns (for example, birds are characterized as small, feathered, flying, etc.) This paper presents empirical support to a typology of multidimensional predicates based on differences in the role of the dimensions in determining entities ‟ status in the predicates (Sassoon 2007, Chap. 7). Extensively supported cognitive concept-theories (for a review see Murphy 2002) analyze nouns as mean-based (an entity is classified under them iff, roughly, its mean degree in the dimensions reaches a standard.) While this analysis has already been applied to the semantics of predicates in general (Lakoff 1987), this paper provides corpus-based evidence to the effect that in adjectives, unlike nouns, the dimensions are not typically combined via averaging (mean operations). Rather, they combine through Boolean operations. The default interpretation of conjunctive adjectives like healthy involves implicit universal quantification over dimensions (dimension conjunction), while that of disjunctive adjectives like sick involves existential quantification (dimension disjunction). In mixed adjectives like intelligent, the force of quantification over dimensions is context relative (it is not determined semantically). Last but not least, the paper presents preliminary support to the hypotheses that antonym polarity and standard type guide our choice of quantifiers over dimensions in different adjectives. Thus, this research sheds new light on the nature of negative antonymy in multidimensional adjectives, as well as on the distribution of degree modifiers and exception phrases among multidimensional antonyms. 1.