Explicit comparison in Fijian

  • Emily A. Hanink


Across languages, comparative constructions vary according to whether they are morphologically explicit or implicit, a cut based largely on the availability of a degree morpheme corresponding to English -er/than (Kennedy, 2007). Based on diagnostics from that work, it has been claimed that Fijian comparatives are always of the implicit type and, more strikingly, that the language therefore lacks degrees in its ontology (Pearson, 2009). I argue that neither of these are the correct conclusions to be drawn for Fijian. First, Fijian does in fact make use of an explicit comparative that makes use of a dedicated degree morpheme. Second, Fijian passes a variety of diagnostics for degreefulness that are not specific to comparatives, but whose presence are generally believed to require degrees in their semantics (Beck et al., 2009). In addition to presenting these arguments for the status of Fijian as a degreeful language, I also propose a preliminary direct phrasal analysis to account for the language’s explicit comparative.
How to Cite
Hanink, E. A. (2020). Explicit comparison in Fijian. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 24(1), 256-272. https://doi.org/10.18148/sub/2020.v24i1.865