Than clauses as embedded questions

Nicholas Fleisher


Quantifiers in comparative than clauses often appear to take scope at the matrix level, a phenomenon that has spawned a large recent literature. Here I reopen an old line of investigation that seeks illumination in the strikingly similar behavior of quantifiers in embedded questions. A novel observation in this connection is that English clausal comparatives support quantificational variability effects. I explore the possibility of treating than clauses as embedded questions, sketching two implementations, and weigh this type of analysis against recent approaches that invoke degree pluralities. I also discuss multiple-wh configurations in clausal comparatives.

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Copyright (c) 2018 Nicholas Fleisher