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6.2 A comparative idiom.

Another source of evidence on the difference between the V2 syntax of the North and South lies in the syntax of a common but marked construction of English, the ``more... more'' construction, a modern example of which is given in (18):

This construction also occurs in Benet, as the following example shows:

Tellingly, the first clause of the construction is introduced by a `that' complementizer and does not exhibit inversion of the subject and verb, while the second clause has no introductory complementizer and does exhibit inversion. Given the close parallelism between the two clauses in this construction, it seems reasonable to suppose that the phrase `the more' occurs in the same position in both. If so, that position must be Spec,CP, given that the phrase occurs to the left of a complementizer in the first clause. It is instructive to compare the construction in (19) to a corresponding construction found in the southern texts,[22] illustrated by the example in (20):

Here the comparative particle `so' that introduces the parallel clauses does not trigger inversion of subject and verb in either. If we assume that `so' is in C-zero in both cases, we correctly expect no inversion after it. Compare, moreover, the sentence in (21):

In this sentence, in which a dative pronoun has moved to Spec,IP, the subject and verb are inverted within IP inside the second clause. This case, where the dative acts as a subject of predication, is of just the type which in Old English exhibits IP-V2 structure.

Anthony Kroch
Wed Jan 10 09:14:48 EST 1996