Typology and Formal Analyses of Comparative Constructions Across Languages
January 14, January 21, January 22
This short, 12-hour course will introduce students to the types of comparative constructions attested in human languages and how they are approached in the current syntactic theory. We will focus on the so-called phrasal comparatives, in which the standard of comparison is expressed by a single phrase, typically a noun phrase (e.g. Mary is taller than her brother). In particular, we will review the famous debate on the syntactic structure behind phrasal standards, i.e. whether there is nothing beyond the NP in this position or whether there is an underlying clause, a part of which is unpronounced. Finally, we will consider interesting constraints on the object of comparison wiht which the standard NP is contrasted and reflect on their nature.