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Double comparatives and the comparative criterion

Norbert Corver
p. 165-190


In this paper, I (re)consider a number of facets of adjectival comparative (and related) constructions as discussed in Corver (1997a,b). Rather than taking comparative words like more and less to be functional heads that head some Degree Projection, I claim that they are phrases (i.e. XPs) that undergo displacement within the adjective phrase to a Spec-position of a functional head that encodes ‘comparison’. In the spirit of Rizzi (1991), this Spec position is characterized as a criterial position. The empirical basis for my proposal is the phenomenon of Comparative Doubling, i.e. the co-occurrence of the bound comparative morpheme (-er) and the comparative word more in expressions like more safer.

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Norbert Corver, « Double comparatives and the comparative criterion », Recherches linguistiques de Vincennes [En ligne], 34 | 2005, mis en ligne le 22 décembre 2006, consulté le 11 avril 2021. URL : ; DOI :

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Norbert Corver

Utrecht Institute of Linguistics – OTS, Utrecht University

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