Subcomparative construction

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A subcomparative construction is a comparative construction in which the standard expression is a complete non-elliptical clause.


In ordinary comparative constructions, the standard can be regarded as elliptical:

  • (i) Inga is older than Britta [...]. (= is old)
  • (ii) Inga found more mushrooms than Britta [...]. (= found mushrooms)

In subcomparatives, there is no ellipsis:

  • (iii) This door is taller than that window is wide.
  • (iv) Lee invited more men than Raj invited women.


  • Corver, Norbert. (1993) “A Note on Subcomparatives.” Linguistic Inquiry 24.4:773-781.

Other languages

German Subkomparativ