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One more comparative

The de/que distinction in Spanish comparatives
  • Jon Ander MendiaEmail author
Article
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Abstract

Spanish comparatives have two morphemes that can introduce the standard of comparison: the complementizer que (‘that’) and the preposition de (‘of’/‘from’). This paper defends the idea that comparatives introduced by the standard morpheme de are phrasal comparatives that always express overt comparison to a degree. I show how this analysis derives the key properties of de comparatives, including the fact that they are acceptable in a much more restricted set of environments than their que counterparts. The latter are argued to involve additional covert structure, which accounts for their general flexibility. If correct, these data point to a previously unnoticed locus of cross-linguistic variation in comparative formation, whereby a standard morpheme is subject to semantic as well as syntactic well-formedness conditions.

Keywords

Semantics Comparatives Spanish 

Notes

Acknowledgements

For comments and helpful discussions, I am grateful to Athulya Aravind, Rajesh Bhatt, Jeremy Hartman, Vincent Homer and three anonymous NLLT reviewers. All errors are my own.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsHeinrich-Heine UniversityDüsseldorfGermany

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