The syntax and semantics of degree expressions in Spanish


  • Antonio Fábregas Institutt for Språkvitenskap, University of Tromsø



degree, adjectives, positive degree, comparative, superlative, scale


This article provides an overview of the syntax and semantics of degree in Spanish, eventually suggesting that degree structure should be viewed as equivalent to aspect in the verbal domain. §1 introduces several of the themes that will be discussed in the article, while §2 introduces the semantics of degree. §3 discusses the basic syntactic properties of degree, particularly with adjectives. §4 introduces the notion of scale, which we will argue should correspond to Aktionsart in the verbal domain. §5 analyses positive degree, and explains how it differs from a scale both in syntax and in semantics. §6-§8 discuss comparative and superlative degrees, first their morphological facts (§6), then the specific properties of comparatives (§7) and finally those of superlatives (§8). The article ends with some conclusions in §9.


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How to Cite

Fábregas, A. (2020). The syntax and semantics of degree expressions in Spanish. Borealis – An International Journal of Hispanic Linguistics, 9(2), 1–112.

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