A Study of Temporal Comparison in English and Malay
The University of Manchester
My project is an investigation into temporal comparison in English and Malay. We use comparison to order people or objects relative to each other, see (1). Temporal comparatives are used to order events relative to each other, see (2). We also use before/after phrases to place an ordering on events, see (3). Therefore, temporal comparatives and before/after phrases are two different expressions of temporal comparison.
(1) Leila is taller than Eve (is).
(2) Leila arrived later than Eve (arrived).
(3) Leila arrived after Eve (arrived).
(1), (2), and (3) are related, in fact (2) and (3) are synonymous. However, they have been treated independently in the literature so far. The primary goal of this project is to investigate precisely how much temporal comparatives and before/after phrases have in common compositionally in the two languages in the sample, and how and whether this composition is subject to variation.
Semantics (gradability, comparison, tense),
and field linguistics