Electoral Shocks: The Volatile Voter in a Turbulent World offers a novel perspective on British elections, focusing on the role of electoral shocks in the context of increasing electoral volatility. It demonstrates and explains the long-term trend in volatility, how shocks have contributed to the level of electoral volatility, and also which parties have benefited from the ensuing volatility. It follows in the tradition of British Election Study books,providing a comprehensive account of specific election outcomes- the General Elections of 2015 and 2017-and a more general and novel approach to understanding electoral change. The authors examine five electoral shocks that affected the elections of 2015 and 2017: the rise in immigration after 2004, particularly from Eastern Europe; the Global Financial Crisis prior to 2010; the coalition government of the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats between 2010 and 2015; the Scottish Independence Referendum in 2014; and the European Union Referendum in 2016.The focus on electoral shocks offers an overarching explanation for the volatility in British elections, alongside the long-term trends that have led to this point. It offers a way to understand the rise and fall of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), Labour's disappointing 2015 performance and its later unexpected gains, the collapse in support for the Liberal Democrats, the dramatic gains of the Scottish National Party (SNP) in 2015, and the continuing period of tumultuous politics that hasfollowed the EU referendum and the General Election of 2017. It provides a new way of understanding electoral choice in Britain, and also beyond, and a better understanding of the outcomes of recent elections.This book reimagines the compositional semantics of comparative sentences using words such as more, as, too, and others. The book's central thesis entails a rejection of a fundamental assumption of degree semantic frameworks: that gradable adjectives like tall lexicalize functions from individuals to degrees, i.e., measure functions. Alexis Wellwood argues that comparative expressions in English themselves introducemeasure functions; this is the case whether that morphology targets adjectives, as intaller or more intelligent; nouns, as in more coffee, more coffees; verbs, such as run more, jump more; or expressions of other categories. Furthermore, she suggests that expressions that comfortably and meaningfully appear in the comparative form should be distinguished fromthose that do not in terms of a general notion of "measurability": a measurable predicate has a domain of application with non-trivial structure. This notion unifies the independently motivated distinctions between, for example, gradable and non-gradable adjectives, mass and count nouns, singular and plural noun phrases, and telic and atelic verbphrases. Based on careful examination of the distribution of dimensions for comparison within the class of measurable predicates, she ties the selection of measure functions to the specific nature and structure of the domain entities targeted for measurement.The book ultimately explores how, precisely, we should understand semantic theories that invoke the "nature" of domain entities: does the theory depend for its explanation on features of metaphysical reality, or something else? Such questions are especially pertinent in light of a growing body of research in cognitive science exploring the understanding and acquisition of comparative sentences.
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This book offers a novel perspective on British elections, focusing on the role of electoral shocks in the context of increasing electoral volatility.This book examines the semantics of comparative constructions using words such as more, as, too, and so on, and proposes a new account that rejects a fundamental assumption of the degree semantics framework. The findings have implications not only for semantics but also for language acquisition and cognitive science more broadly.
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