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Conflicting Constraints in the Comparative Cycle

  • Lukas Reinarz (a1), Hugo de Vos (a1) and Helen de Hoop (a1)

Abstract

Present-day Dutch shows an alternation reflecting a transition from the use of the comparative particle dan ‘than’ toward the particle als ‘as’ in comparisons of inequality. We argue that this transition—as well as the replacement of denn/dann by als in Early New High German, and als ‘as’ by wie ‘how’ in present-day German—results from a conflict between two competing principles, Economy and Iconicity. The conflict between these two constraints in German and Dutch gives rise to a cycle, in which having two particles—one for each construction—and having one particle for both, comparatives and equatives, alternate over time. *

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Corresponding author

Radboud University Nijmegen, P.O. Box 9103, 6500 HD Nijmegen, The Netherlands [lukas.reinarz.ling@outlook.com] [hugodevos.vos@student.ru.nl] [h.dehoop@let.ru.nl]

References

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Journal of Germanic Linguistics
  • ISSN: 1470-5427
  • EISSN: 1475-3014
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