Glossary of Linguistic Terms

Scalar Property Lexical Relation


A scalar property lexical relation is an association between sets of lexical units which refers to the relative values for a property of an object or event as determined against a qualitative standard.


Understanding the scalar property lexical relation is important in using words which refer to such things as

  • dimensions, and
  • physical properties.

Underlying Structure:

A scalar property set has the structure of a scale.


Scalar property


Relative distances

{here, there, yonder}

Relative force

{nudge, push, bulldoze}

Relative size

{tiny, small, medium, large, huge}

Relative time

{immediately, soon, later}

Relative temperature

{cold, cool, lukewarm, warm, hot}

Relative velocity (human movement)

{crawl, walk, run}


Underlying structure

A scalar property set has the structure of a scale.


What is a lexical relation with a scale structure for other examples of similar lexical relations in English.


Here are some frames for testing and eliciting a scalar property lexical relation:

  • Using a set of objects differing only in a particular property (such as size), ask a language associate to describe and compare the different objects.
  • The <property name> of an <object name, activity name> can range from A, to B, to C…to F.