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Negative polarity
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The comparative adjective is able to license negative polarity items in its comparative complement. This means that the comparative may create the possibility for a negative interpretation of the proposition expressed in the main clause on the basis of the proposition which serves as the criterion of comparison. In the following sentence, minderfewer acts as negative polarity item, since it indicates that the norm laid down by the use of nodignecessary is not met.

Example 1

In meer as 80 lande is die geboortes nou  minder as wat nodig is om te keer dat die bevolkings krimp.
in more than 80 countries are the births now fewer than what necessary is PTCL.INF to prevent that the populations shrink
In more than 80 countries the numbers of births are now smaller than what would be necessary to prevent the populations from shrinking.

Semantically, the nature of the antonymy of the relevant adjective does not determine the polarity. In the sentence below, meer more also licenses negative polarity, although it represents the positive antonym of minderfewer, as in example (1).

Example 2

die geboortes is nou meer as wat die ekonomie kan dra.
the births are now more than what the economy can support
the birthrate is now higher than what the economy can support
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The comparative adjective is able to license negative polarity items in its comparative complement. In the examples below, the comparative adjective licenses the polar adjective langerlonger. As the adjectives involved themselves do not license negative polarity items, it may be concluded that it is the comparative element, -er or meermore, which does the licensing:

Example 3

langer as wat gewoonlik die geval is
longer than what usually the case is
longer than what is normally the case

The negative polarity item ooitever can also be found in the comparative complement:

Example 4

Sy het makliker as ooit met mense in aanraking gekom.
she has more.easily than ever with people into contact come
She came into contact with people more easily than ever (before).
Example 5

Dié middag het hy minder verkoop as ooit die geval was.
that afternoon has he less sold than ever the case was
That afternoon he sold less than had ever been the case.

In the last two examples, where the comparative complement is a proposition, it is also possible to put the complementiser watwhat in between asthan and ooitever, this is shown in the examples below:

Example 6

'n groter skare as wat ooit voorheen in die dorp byeen was
a larger crowd than what ever before in the town gathered was
a larger crowd than has ever gathered in the town

The comparative not only licenses negative polarity in its comparative complement, but it also licenses negative polarity on its modifiers, seeing that the negative polarity item baiemuch, very is grammatical in the modifier position of comparatives:

Example 7

baie duideliker
much clearer

Not all negative polarity items which occur in the complement of the comparative can occur in the scope of a superlative. Like ordinary comparatives, the inherent comparative ander / andersdifferent, else, licenses negative polarity in its comparative phrase:

Example 8

Hy het vinnig en anders gepraat as wat nodig was.
he has faster and different talked than what necessary was
He talked faster and different than he needed to.
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