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Coordination of the comparative element with a minorative one

The periphrastic comparative can occur with any adjective.


The periphrastic comparative can occur with any adjective in case the comparative morpheme is embedded in a construction with a minorative. Consider the following examples:

Example 1

a. Al nei de tsjokte fan it tou wie it splisizer mear of minder swier
depending on the thickness of the rope was the splitting iron less or more heavy
Depending on the thickness of the rope the splitting iron was heavier or heavy
b. Sa koe men it mear of minder hurd draaien fan in wurktúch regelje
so could one it more or less fast operating of a device regulate
In this way one could regulate the more or less fast operation of a device
c. Dat it koe mear of minder heech brâne
so it could more or less high burn
So it could burn higher or lower

In these examples, the morphological comparative seems to be blocked because the comparative morpheme is embedded in a coordinative construction, so that it is not linearly adjacent to the adjective with which it would otherwise form one word.

The morphological comparative is possible if the word order is reversed so that the minorative word minder less precedes and the adjective is repeated:

Example 2

a. Minder swier of swierder
less heavy or heavier
Less heavy or heavier
b. Minder heech of heger
less high or higher
Less high or higher

Using this order and again gapping the adjective, it is next to impossible to spell out the comparative morpheme as mear more:

Example 3

a. ?Minder of mear swier
less or more heavy
Less or more heavy
b. ?Minder of mear heech
less or more high
Less or more high

Consequently, it may be concluded that linear adjacency of the comparative morpheme to the adjective is a necessary condition for the morphological comparative, and this automatically blocks the periphrastic comparative.