Attributive Comparative Deletion


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.



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Author's Profile

Jason Merchant
University of Chicago

References found in this work

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

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