Laura Vela-Plo: Delimiting coordination and subordination in comparatives: Evidence from Spanish

Seminari del CLT

Delimiting coordination and subordination in comparatives: Evidence from Spanish

Divendres, 30 de novembre de 2018

This paper presents an approach to the analysis of comparative constructions that allows us to simultaneously capture two generalizations that seem to pull in opposite directions: that although comparatives display some characteristic properties of coordinate structures, they also behave like subordinate structures in many important respects. Based on data from Spanish and English, I show that these prima facie contradictory properties of inequality comparatives are actually due to the fact that er/than is ambiguous between a subordinating er/thansub and a coordinating er/than& (also Napoli 1983). I systematically distinguish comparative coordination from comparative subordination based on several syntactic tests from the literature (availability of Gapping, RNR, shared elements, center-embedding and the CSC) and also some novel observations (availability of cataphoric references and deletion of finite complement clauses). I defend that the data on Spanish inequality comparatives serves as crucial evidence in support of the split approach to comparative structures since whenever a comparative shows coordinate-like properties, Spanish makes use of a más/que comparative; while más/de comparatives display the characteristic features of subordinate structures. Hence, this language lexically differentiates comparative coordination from comparative subordination with the variability in the choice of standard marker. On this basis, I provide a fully compositional syntactic and semantic analysis of comparative subordination and the understudied comparative coordination following insights from Corver (1993) and the semantics of the A-not-A analysis of inequality comparatives (Seuren 1973).

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30 nov., 2018


17:30 - 18:00


Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres
Campus UAB, Bellaterra (Barcelona)
Centre de Lingüística Teòrica


Centre de Lingüística Teòrica
(+34) 93 581 23 72
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novembre 2022
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