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Open Access Phrasal and clausal comparatives in Greek and the abstractness of syntax

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Phrasal and clausal comparatives in Greek and the abstractness of syntax

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Greek phrasal and reduced clausal comparatives differ in that the former, but not the latter, show island sensitivities. In neither case, however, is the material that constitutes the island pronounced. This paper argues that such facts can only be captured by positing abstract unpronounced syntactic structures; the comparison between the two kinds of comparatives further shows that reducing the island effects to semantic or other ill-formedness is not possible: the island effects are irreducibly syntactic. Such facts provide support for syntactic architectures that countenance this kind of abstractness, and against surfacist syntactic theories.


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