Patrícia Amaral is an Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Indiana University. She earned her PhD in Hispanic Linguistics at The Ohio State University in 2007. Her research focuses on issues at the semantics/pragmatics interface (typologies of meaning, focus particles, modality) as well as on syntactic and semantic change in the Romance languages. She has published widely in venues like Linguistics and Philosophy, Diachronica, Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, Linguistics, Language and Linguistics Compass, Probus, and Journal of Pragmatics.
Since the seminal work of authors like Frege and Grice it has become apparent that meaning is composite and that our semantic analyses gain from distinguishing different types of content. We have made some progress in understanding distinctions between “what is said” and the ways in which content can be implicated, both conventionally and conversationally. In this talk I review some of my work on the different meaning components of scalar and modal adverbs, focusing on the Romance languages. Specifically, I consider the complex interplay of types of meaning in relation to scales, temporal orderings, and expectations. I discuss both theoretical and experimental approaches to this topic and what type of insight (and challenges) these approaches provide in the field.