This paper contains a cross-linguistic investigation of epistemic comparatives that reveals two novel observations: i) some languages allows these constructions with the indicative present, while others require overt modal morphology; ii) the split seems to correlate with the presence of indexical present, as detected by Sequence Of Tense phenomena (SOT). More specifically, epistemic comparatives with indicative present tend to occur in non-SOT languages. We account for these observations by combining recent formalizations of anchoring to the Speaker's Perspective (e.g., Wiltschko 2014) with Giorgi's 2010 analysis of SOT phenomena. The findings reported in the paper contribute to uncovering a deeper connection between two apparently distinct phenomena: SOT and epistemic comparatives.
Proceedings of the 35th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Wm. G. Bennett, Lindsay Hracs, and Dennis Ryan Storoshenko
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