R.M.W. Dixon | Research Centre for Linguistic Typology, La Trobe University
A typology of comparative constructions is presented, with major attention to the prototypical scheme in which two participants are compared in terms of the degree of some gradable property associated with them (as in John is more handsome than Felix). In a mono-clausal comparative construction, the Parameter (which is modified by the Index of comparison) may be copula complement, head of an intransitive predicate, or a verb within a serial verb construction. There are also bi-clausal comparative constructions, and — for languages with no comparative construction per se — comparative strategies. A non-prototypical scheme involves the comparison of two properties in relation to one participant (as in John is more loyal than intelligent). There is also brief discussion of directions of origin, diffusion and spread, and non-linguistic correlations.
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