On the semantics of the so-called gradation conjunctions ne stol’ko... skol’ko and skoree... čem.

2013. №1, 38-52

Olga Inkova
Université de Genève, Olga.Inkova@unige.ch


The article offers a comparative description of the so-called scalar conjunctions ne stol’ko… skol’ko and skoree… čem that are often considered and treated as synonymous. It is proposed to distinguish, for skoree…čem, between two distinct values, one of probability of the event and one of descriptive adequacy, whereas ne stol’ko… skol’ko exhibits only one value, the second one. The difference between two markers resides in the fact that skoree…čem always remains hypothetical. The author believes, moreover, that scalarity is not a kind of semantic relation between sentences, but a semantic mechanism underlying a variety of linguistic phenomena, including the semantic relations between sentences. Therefore, skoree… čem, according to its semantic properties, is a conjunction of substitution, and ne stol’ko… skol’ko is closer to the correlative structures with nastol’ko… naskol’ko, skol’ko… stol’ko and čem… tem.