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Drew Hoffmaster presents Spark Undergraduate Research Project

Drew Hoffmaster
Gilbert Hall, room 350K

Join us for a presentation by Drew Hoffmaster, this year's Spark Undergraduate Research Award recipient, as he presents his research project "The Closer you Look, the Weirder it Gets! English Comparative Correlatives: Para- or Hypotaxis". The Spark Award for Undergraduate Research is made possible each year thanks to a generous endowment created by Michael H. and Nancy E. Scarbrough, providing funding to support undergraduate research projects. This talk will be held on Wednesday December 7 at 3:30 PM in Gilbert Hall, room 350K.


The comparative correlative (CC, also known as correlative comparative or the…the construction)links two metrics as changing proportionally in relation to each other. [CC[C1 The closer you look at it], [C2 the weirder it gets.]], for example, showcases the two comparative clauses, C1 and C2, each introduced by the. Despite numerous in-depth attempts to account for CCs, many mysteries and disagreements regarding its structure remain. This paper attempts to contextualize current research on the mysteries of English CCs, while presenting additional evidence for a previously proposed analysis. The questions to be tackled are: What exactly is the relation between the two clauses? Is the CC an example of coordination with no conjunction (parataxis:Culivcover and Jackendoff 1999) or is one clause subordinate to the other(hypotaxis: den Dikken 2005)? I argue in support of Culicover and Jackendoff’s(1999) interpretation that despite many irregularities, CCs are an example of coordination. Next, what is the internal structure of each clause, and why doC1 and C2 begin with the? Additionally, given that each clause in a CC is a Filler-Gap construction (Sag 2010), is it an island for extraction, and if so, is extraction allowed via parasitic gaps or via simultaneous extraction from both clauses, i.e., Across the Board movement (Culicover and Jackendoff1999)? I present evidence for the latter.



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