Jason Merchant
University of Chicago
Comparatives are among the most extensively investigated constructions in generative grammar, yet comparatives involving attributive adjectives have received a relatively small amount of attention. This paper investigates a complex array of facts in this domain that shows that attributive comparatives, unlike other comparatives, are well-formed only if some type of ellipsis operation applies within the comparative clause. Incorporating data from English, Polish, Czech, Greek, and Bulgarian, we argue that these facts support two important conclusions. First, violations of Ross’s Left Branch Condition that involve attributive modifiers should not be accounted for in terms of constraints on LF representations (such as the Empty Category Principle), but rather in terms of the principle of Full Interpretation at the PF interface. Second, ellipsis must be analyzed as deletion of syntactic material from the phonological representation. In addition, we present new evidence from pseudogapping constructions that favors an articulated syntax of attributive modification in which certain types of attributive modifiers may occur outside DP.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,039
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

A Semantics for Positive and Comparative Adjectives.Ewan Klein - 1980 - Linguistics and Philosophy 4 (1):1--45.
The English Noun Phrase in its Sentential Aspect.Steven Abney - 1987 - Dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Fragments and Ellipsis.Jason Merchant - 2004 - Linguistics and Philosophy 27 (6):661 - 738.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
92 ( #126,701 of 2,505,228 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #416,705 of 2,505,228 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes