Project B17:
Comparative Constructions

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Projects of SFB 441




Seminar für Englische Philologie

Seminar für Sprachwissenschaft


Head of the Project

Prof. Dr. Sigrid Beck

Seminar für Englische Philologie
Universität Tübingen
Wilhelmstr. 50
72074 Tübingen

Project Members

Sveta Krasikova
Office: Nauklerstr. 35, Room 3.11
Phone +49/7071/29-77156

Stefan Hofstetter
Office: Wilhelmstr. 50, Room 461
Phone +49/7071/29-78463

John Vanderelst
Office: Wilhelmstr. 50, Room 461
Phone +49/7071/29-74970

Vera Hohaus
Office: Nauklerstr. 35, Room 3.11
Phone +49/7071/29-77156

Christiane Savelsberg
Office: Wilhelmstr. 50, Room 467
Phone +49/7071/29-78464


Sonja Tiemann
Büro: Wilhelmstr. 50, Raum 467
Tel. +49/7071/29-78464

Former Members

Elisabeth Villalta


Dr. des. Remus Gergel

Project Outline

The aim of the project is to provide new evidence for the semantic theory of comparatives by collecting and analysing data from different languages. The form of the comparative construction as well as the availability of different types of comparison are subject to cross-linguistic variation.

We assume that the contrasts are due to non-trivial variation, both in the semantics of comparatives and at the syntax-semantics interface. This hypothesis follows from the contrast between Japanese/Korean and English/German. We want to investigate further languages in order to gain insight into the parameters of variation. In this context, potential semantic parameters of variation have to be distinguished from syntactically-based variation.

As a first step, we shall look at languages that behave differently from English as well as from English or Japanese with respect to empirical facts, which will make the entire spectrum of the various possibilities prominent. As a second step, we shall look into some of these languages in more detail and suggest ideas about parametric variation in grammar, taking semantic as well as syntactic variation into account.

Our intention is to supply useful data for theory development in this area on the basis of a contrastive and theory-driven collection of data.

Project proposal (in German) (pdf)


Bibliography on Comparatives (pdf)

Last modified 2.02.2009 by Sveta Krasikova