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Linguistic Inquiry

Fall 2005, Vol. 36, No. 4, Pages 497-532
(doi: 10.1162/002438905774464377)
© 2005 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Comparative Correlatives Comparatively
Article PDF (190.24 KB)

The comparative correlative construction (The more you eat, the fatter you get) has received sporadic attention in the literature, with few concrete results when it comes to our understanding of the syntax of the construction. This article analyzes comparative correlatives as well-behaved, crosslinguistically consistent correlative constructions whose initial clause is a relative clause adjoined to the second clause, which functions as the root of the construction. Examining comparative correlative data from a variety of languages, the article subjects the internal structure of the construction's two clauses to careful scrutiny, as well as the microscopic structure of the comparative-headed constituents introducing the two clauses.