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Linguistic Inquiry

Winter 2004, Vol. 35, No. 1, Pages 1-45
(doi: 10.1162/002438904322793338)
© 2004 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Late Merger of Degree Clauses
Article PDF (183.59 KB)

In this article, we propose that degree heads and degree clauses form a constituent not at the point where the degree head is merged, but after QR of the degree head and countercyclic merger of the degree clause. We derive a generalization originally outlined in Williams 1974 that the scope of the comparative degree quantifier is exactly as high as the site of attachment of the degree clause. This generalization is shown to follow from the derivational mechanism of countercyclic merger and a semantic property of the comparative degree head, namely, its nonconservativity