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Gaps in the comparative complement
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If the comparative complement is a sentence, then it contains a gap which corresponds to the phrase in the main clause that provides the element of comparison.

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The comparative complement can also be realised as a sentence, as in the example below, in which the speed of reading is compared to the speed of writing. This example also illustrates that comparative sentences may be introduced by a sequence of two complementisers, the comparative complementiser asas and the subordinating complementiser datthat:

Example 1

Wytze skriuwt syn boek flugger as dat ik it lêze kin
Wytze writes his book faster as that I it read can
Wytze 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 fluggerfaster provides the element of comparison. In the example below, the element of comparison is the comparative quantifier mearmore, embedded in the direct object, and, correspondingly, the comparative clause lacks a direct object:

Example 2

Jan is sljocht op mear boeken as dat de bern lêze kinne
John is fond of more books than that the children read can
John is fond of more books than the children can read

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

Example 3

Wat tinkst dat de bern lêze kinne?
what think.2SG that the children read can
What do you think that the children can read?

However, there are also examples where comparative clauses differ from questioned clauses. The following example shows that a degree word may not be questioned:

Example 4

*Hoefolle tinkst dat de bern [- boeken] lêzen ha
how many think.2SG that the children books read have
How many books do you think the children have read

Nevertheless, a comparative clause may contain a gap corresponding to the degree word, which is related to the word mearmore in the matrix clause:

Example 5

Hy hat mear boeken lêzen as datsto [- CD's] beharke hast
he has more books read as that.2SG CD's listen have.2SG
He has read more books than you have listened to CDs

In a way, it is not surprising that the quantified adjective mear licenses gaps which are normally unlicensed, since it is the central ingredient, semantically and syntactically, of the comparative construction. So a distinction can be drawn between gaps licensed by the comparative quantifier mearmore and the other cases. The generative literature uses the term comparative subdeletion for constructions involving gaps licensed by the comparative quantifier mearmore, whereas the term comparative deletion is reserved for all other cases.

The comparative differs from the superlative in that the comparative complement can be a sentence introduced by datthat, whereas the superlative complement cannot.

References:
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