The paper puts forward a new syntax for comparative inversion. In order to do so, it crucially takes into account the tools available from the historical perspective on the language (cf. Fischer et al. 2000, Kroch et al. 2000, Pintzuk 1991, among others). As a net result, it is argued that the simple proposal made gives a more accurate account of the data on comparatives than the standardly assumed alternative (viz. of moving the finite verbal element to the C-domain). Specifically, by adapting a suggestion of Haeberli (2002), the author argues that, as far as the narrow syntactic component is concerned, an archaic option in the grammar that allows the subject to stay in a lower position than the usually assumed Spec,TP offers both a new window onto the syntax of the comparative construction itself and complements recent findings on V2 effects in the history of English in other domains. The paper illustrates a number of areas in which it is argued that beneficial consequences can be derived from the syntax proposed.
Proceedings of the 26th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Charles B. Chang and Hannah J. Haynie
Table of contents