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date: 18 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter presents a selective overview of three classes of ellipsis phenomena that manifest themselves in the comparative construction: Comparative Deletion (CD), Comparative Ellipsis (CE), and phrasal comparatives (PCs). A survey of some central empirical generalizations and their theoretical interpretation in the extant literature consolidates three findings. First, while CD displays all the characteristics of a syntactic ellipsis operation, its exact nature still remains elusive. Although some core properties of CD fall out from modeling CD in analogy to the matching analysis for the relative clause, the competing raising account is better equipped to tackle others, such as the identity condition on ellipsis and opacity. Second, CE proves less recalcitrant in that most of its core manifestations are reducible to independently attested ellipsis operations, specifically those found in coordinate structures. Finally, as for PCs, the evidence available at the moment is best compatible with a hybrid approach that treats PCs as base-generated constructions in some languages, but derives them by syntactic ellipsis in others.

Keywords: comparatives, Comparative Deletion, phrasal comparatives, gapping, stripping, ATB movement, coordination vs subordination

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