О типах сравнительных конструкций
This paper bears on the debate (cf. Lechner 2015) whether single DP-remnant comparatives are underlyingly clausal (reduced clause analysis, RCA) or base-generated as DPs (direct analysis, DA). Setting aside čem-comparatives, exhibiting clear CP-like behavior (see Pancheva 2006), I focus on genitive comparatives. No evidence for additional structure has been proposed for the Russian genitive comparative, which might invite the simpler DA. However, here I present a novel constraint and show how it falls out from RCA, but not DA. Among the two available versions of RCA, I argue for the small clause (Pancheva 2009) rather than the full clause (Merchant 2009) analysis, since it allows positing less structure (avoids unmotivated TP and CP layers) and does not involve DP-raising out of a finite clause, not independently reported for Russian.
The paper studies Russian metalinguistic comparatives. Specifically, it argues that Russian exhibits three single meta-comparatives (skoree ‘sooner’, bol′še ‘more’, and lučše ‘better’, lit.), which are derived as a result of grammaticalisation of corresponding standard comparatives and three double meta-comparatives (skoree bol′še, bol′še skoree, and skoree lučše). From a morphological and syntactic point of view, these meta-comparatives are quite distinct from standard comparatives. Unlike standard comparatives, they have only synthetic forms, are ungrammatical with Genitive and show prosodic restrictions and linearly syntactic preferences. Moreover, the metacomparatives are divided into two major groups: skoree, bol′še, skoree bol′še, bol′še skoree vs. lučše, skoree lučše. Each of these two groups imposes specific restrictions on a syntactic category and/or grammatical form of the two compared phrases. Last but not least, due to a relatively free combination of skoree with other single meta-comparatives, which results in double metacomparatives, the paper reveals that skoree is the most grammaticalised metacomparative in Russian.