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The comparative complement
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The comparative involves a comparison between two arguments which have received identical thematic roles from identical adjectives. Of the two arguments compared, one expresses the reference set for the comparison. This argument can syntactically be termed the comparative complement; the other argument is compared to the reference set, and it functions as subject or object, and so on. The comparative complement is expressed in a phrase introduced by the function word asthan:

Example 1

Frik is slim·mer as Willem.
Frik is smart·CMPR than Willem
Frik is smarter than Willem.
Example 2

Hulle ken haar beter as haar suster.
They know her better than her sister.
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While the comparative operates as a comparison between two arguments which have identical thematic roles and utilises the same adjective, the two arguments have different syntactic functions: the argument representing the reference set for the comparison (that is, the comparative complement), and the argument which is compared to the reference set. The comparative form, introduced by asthan, may take the form of a NP (as a subject or object, for instance) or a proposition, and so forth. The various syntactic positions of the comparative form will be discussed here.

A comparative NP is part of the adjective phrase, although it may be separated from it. This is illustrated by the following pair of sentences, in which the AP and NP are moved as a unit (indicated by square brackets):

Example 3

Willempie is nie [slim·mer as Frik] nie.
Willempie is not smart·CMPR than Frik PTCL.NEG
Willempie is not smarter than Frik.
Example 4

[Slim·mer as Frik] is Willempie nie.
smart·CMPR than Frik is Willempie not
Willempie is not smarter than Frik.

This is also true of the equative complement:

Example 5

Willem is nie [so slim soos sy broer] nie.
Willem is not as smart as his brother PTCL.NEG
Willem is not as smart as his brother.
Example 6

[So slim soos sy broer] is Willem nie.
as smart as his brother is Willem not
Willem is not as smart as his brother.

Idiomatic expressions which contain an equative complement are very common, as in the example below:

Example 7

Hy is so slim soos die houtjie van die galg.
he is as clever as the piece.of.wood of the gallows
He is extremely cunning.

The equative complement may absorb the adjectival meaning to such an extent that the AP is deleted, as illustrated by the following two examples:

Example 8

Die jaar het [so vinnig] soos blits verbygesnel.
the year has as quickly as lightning rushed.past
The year rushed past in next to no time.
Example 9

Die jaar het soos blits verbygesnel.
the year has like lightning rushed.past
The year rushed past in next to no time.

If the comparative complement is a sentence, then it contains a gap which corresponds to the phrase in the main clause which provides the element of comparison. In the example below, the speed of reading is compared to the speed of writing. The sentence also illustrates the fact that comparative sentences may be introduced by a sequence of two complementisers, the comparative complementiser asthan and the subordinating complementiser watwhat:

Example 10

Schalk skryf sy boek vinnig·er as wat ek dit kan lees.
Schalk writes his book fast·CMPR than what I it can read
Schalk writes his book faster than I can read it.

If the comparative complement is a sentence, then it contains a gap which corresponds to the phrase in the main clause which provides the element of comparison. In the example above, the comparative adjective vinnigerfaster provides the element of comparison. In the example below, the element of comparison is the comparative quantifier meermore, embedded in the direct object, and, correspondingly, the comparative clause lacks a direct object:

Example 11

Ek het meer boeke as wat ek in 'n leeftyd kan lees.
I have more books than what I in a lifetime can read
I have more books than I can read in a lifetime.

By and large, this is reminiscent of question formation, in which a question phrase in a matrix clauses corresponds to a gap in an embedded clause:

Example 12

Wat dink jy kan ek lees?
what think you can I read
What do you think (that) I can read?

In comparative constructions, a sequence of two superficially identical function words is avoided, even though their semantic function seems to be different.

The comparative complement is introduced by the function word asas, which normally means 'in the capacity of'. In case the constituent following this function word also begins with the function word asas, then the first instance of asas is replaced by the function word danas:

Example 13

As parlementslid is hy meer betaal dan as dokter.
as member of parliament was he more paid than as doctor
As a member of parliament he was paid more than as a doctor.

The following two examples show that other sequences of dissimilar complementisers may also be found:

Example 14

Nog eensam·er as wat sy gekom het, het Sannie teruggery.
even lonely·CMPR than what she come has has Sannie driven back
Sannie drove back feeling even lonelier than when she came.
Example 15

Tuin skoonmaak is 'n veel grot·er taak as wat tot dusver aangeneem is.
garden cleaning is a much big.CMPR operation than what until now assumed was
Garden cleaning is a much bigger operation than has been assumed until now.
References:
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