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Equative constructions in world-wide perspective

Haspelmath, Martin; the Leipzig Equative Construction Team

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  "publisher": "Benjamins", 
  "DOI": "10.1075/tsl.117.02has", 
  "ISBN": "9789027206985", 
  "container_title": "Similative and equative constructions A cross-linguistic perspective", 
  "title": "Equative constructions in world-wide perspective", 
  "issued": {
    "date-parts": [
  "abstract": "<p>In this paper, we report on a world-wide study of equative constructions (\u2018A is as big as B\u2019) in a convenience sample of 119 languages. From earlier work, it has been known that European languages often have equative constructions based on adverbial relative pronouns that otherwise express degree or manner (\u2018how\u2019, \u2018as\u2019), but we find that this type is rare outside Europe. We divide the constructions that we found into six primary types, four of which have closely corresponding types of comparative constructions (\u2018A is bigger than B\u2019). An equative construction often consists of five components: a comparee (\u2018A\u2019), a degree-marker (\u2018as\u2019), a parameter (\u2018is big\u2019), a standard-marker (\u2018as\u2019), and a standard (\u2018B\u2019). Most frequently, the parameter is the main predicate and the equative sense is expressed by a special standard-marker. But many languages also have a degree-marker, so that we get a construction of the English and French type. Another possibility is for the equality sense to be expressed by a transitive \u2018equal\u2019 (or \u2018reach\u2019) verb, which may be the main predicate or a secondary predicate. And finally, since the equative construction is semantically symmetrical, it is also possible to \u201cunify\u201d the parameter and the standard in the subject position (\u2018A and B are equally tall\u2019, or \u2018A and B are equal in height\u2019). But no language has only a degree-marker, leaving the standard unmarked. Finally, we note some word order correlations.</p>", 
  "author": [
      "family": "Haspelmath, Martin"
      "family": "the Leipzig Equative Construction Team"
  "page": "9-32", 
  "publisher_place": "Amsterdam", 
  "type": "chapter", 
  "id": "814964"
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