Количественная определенность признака у относительных прилагательных (потенциальные интенсификаторы)
: The article below is a part of more exhaustive research devoted to the complex study of adjectives of intensifying character. The research is aimed at analyzing the mechanism of intensifying adjectives and revealing the potential possibility of showing quantitative features by the whole class of adjectives. The given article makes an attempt, first, to describe the adjectives the meaning of which does not contain the seme of intensification, but that are able to acquire graduation quantities in speech and, second, to consider the usage of such adjectives. The research material contains adjectives selected from fiction novels of modern British and American writers, the volume of the analysed texts amounting to eight thousand pages. According to the paper, potential intensifiers may be of two types. On the one hand, potential intensifiers involve the adjectives the semantic meaning of which already includes the seme of quality and which under particular conditions, for example, when used as a metaphor, develop qualitative meaning and become gradable. On the other hand, potential intensifiers include a group of words without any qualitative meaning in their structure. Such adjectives are able to determine the quantity with the help of submodifiers by means of figurative comparison or gradability can be denoted by putting an adjective in its comparative or superlative degree. The conducted analysis makes it possible to conclude that unlike qualitative adjectives that contain quantitative components and are able to indicate quantity both in implicit and explicit ways, it is mainly typical for relative adjectives to explicitly express gradability.