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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Discussion Details

Title: On Comparative Inversions
Submitter: Dong-woo Park
Description: Culicover and Winkler (2008) in Journal of Linguistics says that more than
one auxiliary can precede a subject in comparative inversion structures as

A. ANNA ran much faster than could have MANNY.
B. ANNA ran much faster than MANNY could have.

It is also suggested that in order for the sentence A to be grammatical,
there are two premises. The first one is MANNY should be a contrastive
focus. And the second one is MANNY must receive a strong falling pitch accent.

However, a lot of native speakers whose mother tongue is English say that
sentence A is ungrammatical. I know that this sentence is rather marginal.
So I am not sure whether I can examine this kind of comparative inversion
in my paper as a main topic. I would appreciate any input others may have
on this matter.
Date Posted: 07-Jul-2010
Linguistic Field(s): Syntax
LL Issue: 21.2821
Posted: 07-Jul-2010

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