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Matushansky, Ora 2008. 'On the attributive nature of superlatives', ''Syntax'' 11/1, 26-90.




'''Abstract''':
'''Abstract''':
   
   
   The standard view of superlatives treats them as a subkind of adjectives.
   The standard view of [[superlatives]] treats them as a subkind of [[adjectives]]. However, in many languages, superlatives require the presence of a [[determiner]], even in the [[predicate]] position. This leads to an apparent contradiction, since it is independently known that determiners syntactically combine with extended NP projections and are excluded with APs. This issue is resolved if superlative adjectives always appear in an attributive (modificational) position. Superlative phrases without an overt noun (e.g., in the predicative position) modify a null head noun. I show that this hypothesis immediately explains the restrictions on the distribution of superlatives in languages as diverse as Russian, French, German, Dutch, Breton, Spanish and Portuguese. I propose that the modificational nature of superlative adjectives can be derived from their semantics, and I argue that such a proposal yields a natural explanation of the behavior of superlatives in Hebrew and Persian. Finally, I discuss the interaction between this theory and the standard, movement-based analyses of comparatives and superlatives and provide an explanation for apparent counterexamples.
  However, in many languages, superlatives require the presence of a determiner, even in
 
  the predicate position. This leads to an apparent contradiction, since it is independently
 
  known that determiners syntactically combine with extended NP projections and are
[[Category:ouvrages de recherche|Categories]]
  excluded with APs. This issue is resolved if superlative adjectives always appear in an
  attributive (modificational) position. Superlative phrases without an overt noun (e.g., in
  the predicative position) modify a null head noun. I show that this hypothesis
  immediately explains the restrictions on the distribution of superlatives in languages as
  diverse as Russian, French, German, Dutch, Breton, Spanish and Portuguese. I propose
  that the modificational nature of superlative adjectives can be derived from their
  semantics, and I argue that such a proposal yields a natural explanation of the behavior
  of superlatives in Hebrew and Persian. Finally, I discuss the interaction between this
  theory and the standard, movement-based analyses of comparatives and superlatives
  and provide an explanation for apparent counterexamples.

Version actuelle datée du 14 décembre 2016 à 14:29

Matushansky, Ora 2008. 'On the attributive nature of superlatives', Syntax 11/1, 26-90.


Abstract:

 The standard view of superlatives treats them as a subkind of adjectives. However, in many languages, superlatives require the presence of a determiner, even in the predicate position. This leads to an apparent contradiction, since it is independently known that determiners syntactically combine with extended NP projections and are excluded with APs. This issue is resolved if superlative adjectives always appear in an attributive (modificational) position. Superlative phrases without an overt noun (e.g., in the predicative position) modify a null head noun. I show that this hypothesis immediately explains the restrictions on the distribution of superlatives in languages as diverse as Russian, French, German, Dutch, Breton, Spanish and Portuguese. I propose that the modificational nature of superlative adjectives can be derived from their semantics, and I argue that such a proposal yields a natural explanation of the behavior of superlatives in Hebrew and Persian. Finally, I discuss the interaction between this theory and the standard, movement-based analyses of comparatives and superlatives and provide an explanation for apparent counterexamples.