Hardly: _hardly_a_1 vs _hardly_x_deg

For the sentence:

The door is hardly open

I initially thought of two possible interpretations: the way the door was opened (the way the process happened) vs how the door is open (the state of the door).

But I got four analyses in ERG 2018

and three analyses in ERG 1214. At the “semantic level”, I have two decisions: _hardly_a_1 vs _hardly_x_deg

At the “syntactic level”, I need to decide between two lexical types

But documentation is hard to understand.

For av_-_s-vp-x_le it says Scop, VP w/aux head . Does it means scopal, VP with auxiliary HEAD? If so, what does it really means? According to http://moin.delph-in.net/wiki/ErgLeTypes the av_- means adverb without complement. But what is the s-vp-x part?

For av_-_dg-jomv_le it says Deg, just-only-very-much. This is not really an explanation, right? Deg should means degree. Once more is an adverb without complements but dg-jomv is not documented right?

The two interpretations you suggested would work for the “the door is closed” (a state versus a process), but “open” only means the state, in contrast to “opened” for the process. (I can’t pretend that English is sensible here…)

It looks like _hardly_a_1 is scopal and _hardly_x_deg is nonscopal. The nonscopal reading is a degree modifier, indicating how open the door is:

The door is fully/very/fairly/somewhat/hardly open.

The scopal reading indicates the degree of certainty:

The door is definitely/probably/possibly/hardly open.
~ You could definitely/probably/possibly/hardly say that the door is open.

Admittedly, these two readings basically apply to the same set of doors… I can hardly distinguish them :wink: which is why I’ve given the contrasting alternative words.

I’m not sure about the parses that give the same semantics.

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What the scopal and nonscopal here means? I mean, what is the effect and reason for a predicate be nonscopal or scopal. Is the scopal always related to the modality?

The “background” section of this page may be helpful (but the following discussion on that page may raise more questions than it answers).

If a modifier can change a sentence from being false to true, it’s scopal. Modal operators are scopal. If someone says “The door is open”, I could reply “The door is hardly open” to mean something like “No, unless you take a very loose sense of ‘open’, it’s not open.”

But as the “problem statement” of that page says, “While we feel that some items are fairly clearly in one category (scopal modifiers) or the other, we find it difficult to categorize many other times.” I’m tempted to put degree modifiers in the difficult category…