Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 683–735

Reduced And Phrasal Comparatives

  • Winfried Lechner
Article

Abstract

In this paper, I defend two hypotheses as to the derivation of phonologically reduced comparative constructions. On the one hand, I present evidence which supports an ellipsis analysis of phrasal comparatives over base-generation approaches. On the other hand, it is argued that the restrictions on deletion in comparatives are exhaustively determined by the principles governing Gapping, Right Node Raising and Across-The-Board movement in coordinate structures. It follows that construction specific reduction operations such as Comparative Ellipsis can be dispensed with. Evidence for these two hypotheses comes from generalizations about the surface shape of the comparative complement and its positional distribution inside the matrix clause. As for the reason why comparatives, which manifest instances of semantic subordination, can be targeted by processes widely held to be restricted to coordinate structures, it is proposed that optional extraposition of the comparative complement establishes a derived comparative coordination, which emulates the syntax of base-generated conjunctions. The results of this study furthermore indicate that (i) comparatives need to satisfy a hitherto unidentified condition which limits possible relations between the head of an empty operator movement construction and the operator, and that (ii) the Coordinate Structure Constraint has to be formulated as a genuinely syntactic restriction.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Alexiadou, Artemis and Elena Anagnostopoulou. 1998. 'Parametrizing AGR:Word Order, V-Movement and EPP-Checking', NLLT 16, 491–539.Google Scholar
  2. Baker, Mark and Osamuyimen Stewart. 1999. 'On Double-Headedness and the Anatomy of the Clause', unpublished manuscript, Rutgers University.Google Scholar
  3. Barss, Andrew. 1986. Chains and Anaphoric Dependence: On Reconstruction and its Implications, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, MIT.Google Scholar
  4. Besten, Hans den and Hans Broekhuis. 1989. 'Woordvolgorde in de werkwoordelijke eindreeks', GLOT 12, 79–137.Google Scholar
  5. Besten, Hans den and Hans Broekhuis. 1992. 'Verb Projection Raising in the Nederlands', Spektator 21, 21–34.Google Scholar
  6. Bierwisch, Manfred. 1989. 'The Semantics of Gradation', in M. Bierwisch and E. Lang (eds), Dimensional Adjectives, Springer Verlag, Berlin/Heidelberg, pp. 71–237.Google Scholar
  7. Bobaljik, Jonathan and Dianne Jonas. 1996. 'Subject Positions and the Roles of TP', Linguistic Inquiry 27, 195–236.Google Scholar
  8. Brame, Michael. 1976. Conjectures and Refutations in Syntax, North-Holland Publishing Co., New York.Google Scholar
  9. Brame, Michael. 1983. 'Ungrammatical Notes 4: Smarter than Me', Linguistic Analysis 12, 323–328.Google Scholar
  10. Bresnan, Joan. 1973. 'The Syntax of the Comparative Clause Construction in English', Linguistic Inquiry 4, 275–343.Google Scholar
  11. Büring, Daniel and Katharina Hartmann. 1994. 'Doing the Right Thing ¶Extraposition as a Movement Rule', Sprachwissenschaft in Frankfurt, Arbeitspapier No. 13, Frankfurt.Google Scholar
  12. Chao, Wynn. 1987. On Ellipsis, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.Google Scholar
  13. Chomsky, Noam. 1977. 'On Wh-Movement', in P. Culicover, T. Wasow and A. Akmajian (eds), Formal Syntax, Academic Press, New York, pp. 71–132.Google Scholar
  14. Chomsky, Noam. 1986. Barriers, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  15. Chomsky, Noam. 1995. The Minimalist Program, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  16. Culicover, Peter and Ray Jackendoff. 1997. 'Semantic Subordination Despite Syntactic Coordination', Linguistic Inquiry 28, 195–217.Google Scholar
  17. Culicover, Peter and Ray Jackendoff. 1999. 'The View from the Periphery: The English Comparative Correlative', Linguistic Inquiry 30, 543–571.Google Scholar
  18. Embick, David. 1997. Voice and the Interfaces of Syntax, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Pennsylvania.Google Scholar
  19. Evers, Arnold. 1975. The Transformational Cycle in Dutch and German, Indiana University Linguistics Club, Bloomington, IN.Google Scholar
  20. Goodall, Grant. 1987. Parallel Structures in Syntax, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  21. Grewendorf, Günther and Wolfgang Sternefeld (eds). 1990. Scrambling and Barriers, John Benjamins, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  22. Haider, Hubert. 1993. Deutsche Syntax ¶Generativ, Gunter Narr Verlag, Tübingen.Google Scholar
  23. Haider, Hubert. 1995. 'Studies on Phrase Structure and Economy', Arbeitspapiere des Sonderforschungsbereichs 340, Bericht No. 70, University of Stuttgart.Google Scholar
  24. Hankamer, Jorge. 1971. Constraints on Deletion in Syntax, Ph.D. dissertation, Yale University, New Haven, CO. Published as Hankamer (1979), Deletion in Coordinate Structures, Garland Publishing, Inc., New York.Google Scholar
  25. Hankamer, Jorge. 1973a. 'Unacceptable Ambiguity', Linguistic Inquiry 4, 17–68.Google Scholar
  26. Hankamer, Jorge. 1973b. 'Why There are Two Than's in English', Proceedings of the CLS 9, 179–191.Google Scholar
  27. Heim, Irene. 1985. Notes on Comparatives and Related Matters, unpublished manuscript, University of Texas at Austin.Google Scholar
  28. Hendriks, Petra. 1995. Comparatives and Categorial Grammar, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.Google Scholar
  29. Heycock, Caroline and Anthony Kroch. 1994. 'Verb Movement and Coordination in a Dynamic Theory of Licensing', The Linguistic Review 11, 257–284.Google Scholar
  30. Hoeksema, Jacob. 1983. 'Negative Polarity and the Comparative', Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 1, 403–434.Google Scholar
  31. Hoeksema, Jan. 1984. 'To be Continued: The Story of the Comparative', Journal of Semantics 3, 93–107.Google Scholar
  32. Hudson, Richard. 1976. 'Conjunction Reduction, Gapping and Right-Node Raising', Language 52, 535–562.Google Scholar
  33. Johnson, Kyle. 1996. In Search of the English Middle Field, unpublished manuscript, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.Google Scholar
  34. Kathol, Andreas. 1995. Linearization-Based German Syntax, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Ohio State University.Google Scholar
  35. Kayne, Richard. 1994. The Antisymmetry of Syntax, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  36. Kennedy, Christopher. 1997. Projecting the Adjective: The Syntax and Semantics of Gradability and Comparison, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Santa Cruz.Google Scholar
  37. Kratzer, Angelika. 1996. 'Severing the External Argument from its Verb', in J. Rooryck and L. Zaring (eds), Phrase Structure and the Lexicon, Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp. 109–138.Google Scholar
  38. Krifka, Manfred. 1987. Bemerkungen zu Vergleichskonstruktion, unpublished manuscript, University of Tübingen.Google Scholar
  39. Kühnel, Robert. 1993. Gapping Konstruktionen im Deutschen und im Englischen, unpublished Master's Thesis, University of Vienna.Google Scholar
  40. Lakoff, George. 1986. 'Frame Semantic Control of the Coordinate Structure Constraint', in A. Farley, P. Farley and K.-P. McCullough (eds), Papers from the Parasession on Pragmatics and Grammatical Theory, Chicago Linguistics Society, University of Chicago, pp. 152–167.Google Scholar
  41. Lechner, Winfried. 1999. Comparatives and DP-Structure, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.Google Scholar
  42. Maling, Joan. 1972. 'On Gapping and the Order of Constituents', Linguistic Inquiry 3, 101–108.Google Scholar
  43. McCawley, James. 1988. The Syntactic Phenomena of English, Chicago University Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  44. McConnell-Ginet, Sally. 1973. Comparative Constructions in English: A Syntactic and Semantic Analysis, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Rochester.Google Scholar
  45. Moltmann, Friederike. 1992. Coordination and Comparatives, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, MIT.Google Scholar
  46. Muadz, H. 1991. Coordinate Structures: A Planar Representation, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Arizona, Tucson.Google Scholar
  47. Munn, Alan. 1992. 'A Null Operator Analysis of ATB Gaps', The Linguistic Review 9, 1-26.Google Scholar
  48. Munn, Alan. 1993. Topics in the Syntax and Semantics of Coordinate Structures, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Maryland.Google Scholar
  49. Napoli, Donna Jo. 1983. 'Comparative Ellipsis: A Phrase Structure Account', Linguistic Inquiry 14, 675–694.Google Scholar
  50. Neijt, Anneke. 1979. Gapping: A Contribution to Sentence Grammar, Foris, Dordrecht.Google Scholar
  51. Oirsouw, Robert van. 1987. The Syntax of Coordination, Croom Helm, New York.Google Scholar
  52. Pesetsky, David. 1982. Paths and Categories, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, MIT.Google Scholar
  53. Phillips, Colin. 1996. Order and Structure, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, MIT.Google Scholar
  54. Pinkham, Jessie. 1982. The Formation of Comparative Clauses in French and English, Ph.D. dissertation, published as Pinkham (1985), Garland, New York.Google Scholar
  55. Pollock, Jean-Yves. 1989. 'Verb Movement, UG and the Structure of IP', Linguistic Inquiry 20, 365–424.Google Scholar
  56. Postal, Paul. 1974. On Raising, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  57. Postal, Paul. 1999. Three Studies on Extraction, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  58. Reinhart, Tanya. 1991. 'Ellipsis Conjunctions ¶Non Quantificational LF', in A. Kasher (ed.), The Chomskyan Turn, Blackwell, Oxford, pp. 360–384.Google Scholar
  59. Ross, John. 1970. 'Gapping and the Order of Constituents', in M. Bierwisch and K. E. Heidolph (eds.), Progress in Linguistics, Mouton, the Hague, pp. 249-259.Google Scholar
  60. Riemsdijk, Henk van. 1998. 'Head Movement and Adjacency', NLLT 16, 633–678.Google Scholar
  61. Rullmann, Hotze. 1995. Maximality in the Semantics of Wh-Constructions, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.Google Scholar
  62. Sag, Ivan. 1976. Deletion and Logical Form, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, MIT.Google Scholar
  63. Schütze, Carson. 1997. Infl in Child and Adult Language: Agreement, Case and Licensing, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, MIT.Google Scholar
  64. Seuren, Pieter, 1983. 'The Comparative Revised', Journal of Semantics 3, 109–141.Google Scholar
  65. Smith, Carlota. 1961. 'A Class of Complex Modifiers in English', Language 37, 342–365.Google Scholar
  66. Steedman, Mark. 1990. 'Gapping as Constituent Coordination', Linguistics and Philosophy 13, 207–263.Google Scholar
  67. Steedman, Mark. 1996. Surface Structure and Interpretation. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  68. Stillings, Justine. 1975. 'Gapping in English and Variable Types', Linguistic Analysis 1, 247–274.Google Scholar
  69. Thiersch, Craig. 1993. 'Some Remarks on Asymmetrical Coordination', Linguistics in the Netherlands 1993, 141–153.Google Scholar
  70. Truckenbrodt, Hubert. 1988. Syntax von Vergleichskonstruktionen, unpublished manuscript, Universität Tübingen.Google Scholar
  71. Vikner, Sten. 1995. Verb Movement and Expletive Subjects in the Germanic Languages, Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  72. von Stechow, Arnim. 1984. 'Comparing Semantic Theories of Comparison', Journal of Semantics 3, 1–77.Google Scholar
  73. von Stechow, Arnim. 1999. German Participles in Distributed Morphology, unpublished manuscript, University of Tübingen.Google Scholar
  74. Wesche, Birgit. 1995. Symmetric Coordination, Niemeyer, Tübingen.Google Scholar
  75. Wilder, Chris. 1995. Some Properties of Ellipsis in Coordination, unpublished manuscript, Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Berlin.Google Scholar
  76. Williams, Edwin. 1977a. 'Across-the-Board Application of Rules', Linguistic Inquiry 8, 419–423.Google Scholar
  77. Williams, Edwin. 1977b. 'Discourse and Logical Form', Linguistic Inquiry 8, 101–139.Google Scholar
  78. Williams, Edwin. 1978. 'Across-the-Board Rule Application', Linguistic Inquiry 9, 31–43.Google Scholar
  79. Woolford, Ellen. 1987. 'An ECP Account of Constraints on ATB-Movement', Linguistic Inquiry 18, 166–171.Google Scholar
  80. Wurmbrand, Susi. 1998. Restructuring, Ph.D. dissertation, MIT; revised version, Infinitives: Restructuring and Clause Structure, Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin (2001).Google Scholar
  81. Wyngaerd, Guido Vanden. 1993. Gapping, Verb Raising, and Small Clauses, unpublished manuscript, University of Brussels.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Winfried Lechner
    • 1
  1. 1.Seminar für SprachwissenschaftWilhelmstraßeTübingenGermany

Personalised recommendations