This article investigates a novel use of much in a construction that has not yet been recognized in the theoretical literature—as in Angry, much?—which we dub ‘expressive much’. Our primary proposal is that expressive much is a shunting operator in the sense of McCready 2010, which targets a gradable predicate and adds a speaker’s evaluative attitude about the degree to which an individual stands out on the relevant scale. In particular, we argue that it does so in a way that allows it to perform an ‘expressive question’, which can be understood as a counterpart to a polar question, but in the expressive meaning dimension. In doing so, we present the first example of a shunting expression in English and provide, based on Gunlogson 2008, a new model of the discourse context that allows us to account for the different ways that expressive and nonexpressive content enters the common ground.


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pp. 107-135
Launched on MUSE
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