We are happy to announce the next talk in the Historical Linguistics Colloquium by Ruby Sleeman (University of Crete) and Nicolas Lamoure (GU). 

Title: Aller is not an intensifier but defines the domain of the superlative

Date: Tuesday, December 20, 2022
Time: 14-16
Location: in person on campus IG 2.301


In this paper we claim that Dutch and German aller (allerbeste, ‘the best of all’) is not an intensifying prefix or an excessive as is commonly claimed in the literature (e.g. Kiefer 1998: 277, Van der Wouden 2020) but rather the universal quantifier that attaches to the left of superlatives, defining the relevant domain in which the superlative should be interpreted (‘the best of all’), yielding what we would like to call a domain defining superlative compound (DDSC).  More specifically, we argue that aller is an argument of the superlative, and that it is an overt expression of Heim’s (1999) ‘domain argument’ or the comparison class C.