Natural Language Semantics

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 83–113

Reassessing crosslinguistic variation in clausal comparatives


DOI: 10.1007/s11050-011-9076-8

Cite this article as:
Shimoyama, J. Nat Lang Semantics (2012) 20: 83. doi:10.1007/s11050-011-9076-8


This paper looks at one area of potential crosslinguistic variation in comparatives. It has recently been claimed that Japanese clausal comparatives lack degree abstraction structures in the complement of yori ‘than’. Based on data from several empirical domains such as predicative adjectival comparatives, intensional contexts, and negative islands, this paper shows that Japanese clausal comparatives do not in general contrast with their English counterparts in the way predicted by the above claim. The syntactic and semantic phenomena observed in Japanese clausal comparatives receive straightforward accounts if we assume that they do involve degree abstraction and degree comparison, along the lines familiar from analyses of their English counterparts.


ComparativesClausal comparativesDegree comparisonJapanese

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada