Quantification and scales in change

Remus Gergel   Jonathan Watkins  


This volume contains thematic papers on semantic change which emerged from the second edition of Formal Diachronic Semantics held at Saarland University. Its authorship ranges from established scholars in the field of language change to advanced PhD students whose contributions have equally qualified and have been selected after a two-step peer-review process.   The key foci are variablity and diachronic trajectories in scale structures and quantification, but readers will also find a variety of further (and clearly non-disjoint) issues covered  including reference, modality, givenness, presuppositions, alternatives in language change, temporality, epistemic indefiniteness, as well as - in more general terms -  the interfaces of semantics with syntax, pragmatics and morphology.    Given the nature of the field, the contributions are primarily based on original corpus studies (in one case also on synchronic experimental data) and present a series of new findings and theoretical analyses of several languages, first and foremost from  the Germanic and Romance subbranches of Indo-European (English, French, German, Italian, Spanish) and from Semitic (with an analysis of universal quantification in Biblical Hebrew).


  • Editors’ preface
    Remus Gergel, Jonathan Watkins
  • From a collective to a free choice determiner in Biblical Hebrew
    Edit Doron
  • Grammaticalization parameters and the retrieval of alternatives
    Latin nec from discourse connector to uninterpretable feature
    Chiara Gianollo
  • Vagueness, context-sensitivity and scale structure of four types of adjectives with the suffix -ish
    Tabea Harris
  • On the semantic change of evidential argument jakoby-clauses in Polish
    Łukasz Jędrzejowski
  • Semantic and syntactic change of equis in Mexican Spanish
    Olga Kellert
  • German noch under reanalysis
    Martin Martin Kopf-Giammanco
  • Givenness marking in a mixed system
    Constituent order vs. determiners
    Alexandra Simonenko, Anna Carlier



Remus Gergel, Universität des Saarlandes
Remus Gergel received his doctorate in English linguistics from the University of Tübingen after studying English, mathematics and Romance languages. He subsequently had stays at UPenn, Göttingen and once more Tübingen, where he defended his habilitation and was later tenured. He held a full professorship at the University of Graz before accepting the chair of English Linguistics at Saarland University. His research focus includes cross-linguistic variation as well as language change in the areas of structure and meaning, having investigated e.g. issues of modality, degree constructions, and presuppositions.
Jonathan Watkins, Universität des Saarlandes
Jonathan Watkins holds a tri-national MA-degree after having studied German at Saarland University, Luxembourg, and Metz. He currently works on his doctoral thesis and as a research assistant at the chair of English Linguistics of Saarland University. His research interests center around diachronic and empirical investigations of English in the areas of semantics, pragmatics, and information structure. 


August 19, 2019
LaTeX source on GitHub
Cite as
Gergel, Remus & Watkins, Jonathan (eds.). 2019. Quantification and scales in change. (Topics at the Grammar-Discourse Interface 7). Berlin: Language Science Press. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3929261


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