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Comparative correlatives and parameters

Abeillé, A and Borsley, RD (2008) Comparative correlatives and parameters. In: UNSPECIFIED, ? - ?.

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Abstract

The comparative correlative construction, exemplified by The more I read, the more I understand, has a number of idiosyncrasies, highlighted in Culicover and Jackendoff (1999), which pose a problem for the view that grammatical systems are the result of setting a relatively small number of parameters. Den Dikken (2005) suggests that the construction is no problem for a principles-and-parameters approach to language. However, he provides no analysis and ignores the idiosyncrasies. He proposes that the first clause is a kind of free relative. This seems to explain some of its properties, but the same properties in the second clause are unexplained. Den Dikken shows that a number of languages have broadly similar CC constructions. However, data from French suggests that he seriously underestimates the extent of cross-linguistic variation. The first clause of the French construction does not resemble a free relative and for some speakers is not subordinate clause. In addition the two clauses may be connected by the conjunction et 'and'. Den Dikken argues that the cross-linguistic variation is lexical and not syntactic. Within his general approach this is true. However, it does not make the variation any less problematic for a principles-and-parameters approach. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Additional Information: Published proceedings: Lingua
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2011 12:45
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2017 18:16
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/1045

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