41 Comparative adjective marking

This feature is described more fully in chapter 41.


In this feature, we investigate the marking of degree on adjectives in comparative constructions of inequality such as English Mary is taller than Peter, where a comparee NP (Mary) is compared with a standard NP (Peter) with respect to a parameter (tallness). In such constructions, many (especially European) languages mark the adjective either by a suffix, e.g. English -er in tall-er, or by a degree word, e.g. French plus 'more' in plus grand 'bigger'.

We use adjective here in a semantic sense to refer to gradable property concepts, e.g. 'big', 'small', 'short', 'long' (cf. also Feature 3 on order of adjective and noun). Morphosyntactically these property concepts can be encoded as verbs, nouns, or as a separate word class (adjectives).

In comparative constructions, the standard can be marked in various ways (see Feature 42 on comparative standard marking). For the present feature, we only consider constructions in which the standard is present (e.g. Peter in Mary is taller than Peter), not constructions in which the standard is contextually omitted (e.g. Mary is taller), because some languages use a different construction when the standard is not expressed.


Susanne Maria Michaelis and the APiCS Consortium


Adjective is marked362359
Adjective is not marked152338

Language Value Lexifier Details Source
Id Primary text Analyzed text Gloss Translation Type Language Audio Details