Brasoveanu, Adrian 2008. Comparative Correlatives as Anaphora to
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
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
mai înalt tată-l
With how much is more tall
brother-the than sister.the, with that much is more tall father-the than
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
beautiful to a certain, significant extent and she is smart to the same, equally
(3) Cu cît
e un avocat mai
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.