After reading Justin Bledin’s work on English as ifs, we realized that Turkish counterparts of as ifs behave differently. It seemed that instead of a simple comparison of events, Turkish as ifs seems to be susceptible to gradability and degree.
To account for Turkish facts, we proposed that a novel analysis of these sentences. While previous accounts were based on event similarity, our hypothesis is based on comparing degrees of gradable elements involved in the event.
Consider this sentence: Pedro was dancing as if he was possessed by a demon. And, let’s take a look at the interpretations in (1) and (2). (1) is the simplified version of previous accounts. The key word for those analyses is the resemblance. On the other hand, (2) is our account in a simplified manner. Instead of using resemblance, we proposed an equatative approach. Our analysis compares two degrees of adverbials.
- Pedro’s dancing in the actual world resembles to his dancing in other possible worlds where he is possessed by a demon.
- The level of craziness of Pedro’s dancing in the actual world is greater than or equal to the level of craziness of his dancing in other possible worlds where he is possessed by a demon.
Here’s the facts that support our analysis:
Unlike English and German, Turkish does not have an overt conditional marker in as ifs constructions.
|3.||Pedro was dancing as if he was possessed by a demon.|
|"Pedro was dancing as if he was possessed by a demon."
It is frequently used with an adverbial in a matrix sentence with a verbal predicate.
|"Pedro was dancing as if he was possessed by a demon."|
Even when there is no overt adverbial, the use of -mışcasına phrase necessitates an adverbial reading to be accessed from the context. When we use -mışcasına phrase in a sentence where there is no possible adverbial is available in the context, the sentence become infelicitous.
|"You are dancing [???] as if there will be a meteor shower tomorrow."|
More importantly, these adverbs are always gradable adverbials. Similarly, when the matrix predicate is non-verbal, it has to be a gradable adjective.
|"Helin is happy as if the pandemic is over."|
|"Intended: His answer was wrong as if he did not hear the question."|
Lastly, when there is an already established degree-related operation, we cannot use -mışcasına phrases. This is similar to the cases where we cannot use two degree operators most and more at the same time.
|"Mecidiyeköy is an crowded district as if it was hell."|
|"Intended: Mecidiyeköy is the most crowded district as if it was hell."|