LSLT 15: Comparative Constructions in Spanish and San Lucas Quiaviní Zapotec

Artikel-Nr.: ISBN 9783895867743
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Comparative Constructions in Spanish and San Lucas Quiaviní Zapotec

Michael Rene Galant
University of California, Los Angeles

This book examines the syntax, semantics, and morphology of comparative constructions and other degree constructions in English, Spanish, and San Lucas Quiaviní Zapotec. Previous descriptions and analyses of comparatives in English and Spanish are reviewed. New data from San Lucas Quiaviní Zapotec, involving comparisons, other degree expressions, and other lexical and functional morphemes, is presented. Attention is called to MUCH, the abstract adjectival quantifier contained in English much and many, SLQZ zyèeiny, zìi’lly, and -dya’ / -tya’, and any Spanish degree adverbial showing number and gender agreement, but not inherently in mucho, an allomorph of muy.

In SLQZ, the sequence MUCH-ER is transparently segmentable as such in amount comparisons (contra English and Spanish), ER being the morpheme inherent in comparisons of inequality. In other degree constructions explored in English, Spanish, and SLQZ, the nominal system consistently provides a QP slot occupied by a form of MUCH, contra the adjectival system (with certain exceptions such as in the case ofdifferent). Non-predicative nominal expressions interact with a Deg only via the intermediary of MUCH, whereas most adjectives must interact directly with a Deg. Therefore, there are two instances of more and más: (i) the instance used in amount comparisons, subdividable into MUCH (plus agreement) and ER, and (ii) the instance used in adjectival degree comparisons, containing only ER. Subordination and coordination are shown to not be consistently distinguishable on syntactic grounds.

ER complementation is typically either via a preposition plus numeral, measure phrase, or degree relative, or via an adversative conjunction structure. The former type is introduced by de in Spanish and ta’ or cah (with subsequent nih) in SLQZ, whereas the latter type is introduced by que in Spanish and cah (without nih) or lohoh in SLQZ. Both types are introduced by than in English.

ISBN 9783895867743. LINCOM Studies in Language Typology 15. 360pp. 2006.

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