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In this paper, we discuss two types of dimensional adjectives in Nuosu Yi (Tibeto- Burman), which we refer to as Positive adjectives (PAs) and Equative Adjectives (EAs). We show that PAs and EAs are subject to different distributions in gradation structures: EAs are only admissible in gradation structures that can be associated with measure phrases, which include differential comparatives (e.g., Ayi is 2 cm taller than Aguo. ) and degree questions (e.g., How tall is Ayi ?). PAs are licensed elsewhere, including comparatives that do not introduce a differential (e.g., Ayi is taller than Aguo. ), the intensification construction (e.g., Ayi is very tall ), the superlative construction (e.g., Ayi is the tallest ), etc. Assuming that measure phrases are degree-denoting expressions, we propose that the complimentary distribution of PAs and EAs in Nuosu Yi is due to their different semantics.


This is the accepted manuscript of an article finally published as: Li, Xiao and Hongyong Lin. "Dimensional Adjectives in Nuosu Yi." Asian Languages and Literatures, vol, 3, no. 1, 2022, pp. 60-88. doi:



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