Unmerging Analytic Comparatives
Karen De Clercq, Guido Vanden Wyngaerd
July 2018

In this paper, we look at the internal structure of the analytic comparative marker 'more', arguing that it spells out nearly all the features of a gradable adjective. When this marker is merged with an adjective in the positive degree, it creates a situation of feature recursion or overlap, where 'more' duplicates certain features that are also present in the adjective that it modifies. We argue that such overlap must be disallowed as a matter of principle. We present an empirical argument in favour of such a restriction, which is based on the generalisation that comparative markers which occur to the left of the adjectival root are incompatible with suppletion. This generalisation can be shown to follow from a restriction against overlapping derivations. In order to achieve such nonoverlapping derivations, an Unmerge operation may remove previously created structure.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003909
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Jezikoslovlje
keywords: comparatives, suppletion, analytic, synthetic, morphology, syntax
previous versions: v1 [March 2018]
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