Edited by Harry van der Hulst and Anikó Lipták
[Approaches to Hungarian 15] 2017
► pp. 35–63
Chapter 2Structural ambiguity and case assignment in Hungarian clausal and phrasal comparatives
This paper presents a contrastive analysis of comparative degree complements in Germanic (English, German) and Hungarian, focussing on two particular types of constructions that are potentially ambiguous in isolation. I argue that Hungarian has both clausal and phrasal comparatives. In clausal comparatives, the morphological case of the single remnant always corresponds to its underlying function (subject or object), hence ambiguities arise only if both interpretations involve subjects, but there are no subject/object ambiguities. This differs from Germanic, where subject/object ambiguities arise due to case syncretism, and where subjects of small clauses can be marked by the accusative case. In Hungarian phrasal comparatives, case distinction does not play a role, and the interpretation is governed by semantic rules.
- 2.Ambiguity and case assignment with single predicates (Type I)
- 3.Ambiguity and case assignment with two predicates (Type II)
- 4.The proposal: Semantics and underlying syntactic structures