Brasoveanu, Adrian 2008. Comparative Correlatives as Anaphora to Differentials
to appear in the Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory 18 (UMass Amherst, 2008).

The empirical goal of the paper is to establish that there are comparative correlatives that are not comparative conditionals, against what much of the previous literature assumes. This is shown by the Romanian comparative correlative in (1) and is further supported by the equative correlative in (2). No conditional paraphrase is possible for (1) or (2) – as, for example, Beck (1997) ("On the Semantics of Comparative Conditionals", L&P 20) would have it – since they are statements about what is actually the case. In contrast, the comparative correlative in (3) can be paraphrased by a conditional, e.g. (on one of its readings): if a lawyer x is more aggressive than a lawyer y by a certain amount, then x is more efficient than y by a corresponding amount.

The main proposal is that a unified analysis should be given for such non-conditional, differential-based comparative (and equative) correlatives and the more familiar, conditional-like comparative correlatives in terms of a relation (possibly the identity relation) between differentials. In particular, the Romanian atît (that much) is anaphoric to differential intervals, i.e. atît is a proform in the degree domain – and the wh-differential cît (how much) is an indefinite introducing a non-empty interval, anaphorically retrieved by atît.

(1) Cu    cît            e    mai   înalt  frate-le      decît sora,        cu   atît            e mai   înalt tată-l       decît mama.
    With  how much is   more tall   brother-the than  sister.the, with that much is more tall  father-the than mother.the
The brother is taller than the sister by a certain amount and the father is taller than the mother by the same amount.
(2) Pe  cît            e  Irina de  frumoasă, pe  atît           e de  deşteaptă.
     PE how much is Irina DE beautiful,  PE that much is DE smart
Irina is beautiful to a certain, significant extent and she is smart to the same, equally significant extent.
(3) Cu    cît            e un avocat  mai  agresiv,      cu   atît            e mai   eficient.
     With how much is a  lawyer more aggressive, with that much is more efficient
The more aggressive a lawyer is, the more efficient s/he is.