Degree Equative Constructions in English

Mija Kim 1 ,
Author Information & Copyright
1Kangwon National University
Corresponding Author: Lecturer, Institute of Liberal Education, Kangwon National University, 1 Gangwondaekakgil, Chuncheon, Gangwon 24341, Korea, E-mail:

ⓒ Copyright 2022 Language Education Institute, Seoul National University. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Received: Feb 22, 2022 ; Revised: Mar 27, 2022 ; Accepted: Apr 17, 2022

Published Online: Apr 30, 2022


When comparing certain properties between two entities, the evaluation is generally comparatively high or comparatively low. However, a certain type of comparative sentence (hereinafter, a degree equative construction) does not contain the entity to be compared. This study addresses such English degree equative constructions, seeking to identify their grammatical characteristics and describe the circumstances in which they are used by carefully examining their syntactic and semantic properties based on corpora data. To this end, to different analysis types are adopted: raw frequency and collostructional. The study investigates the distributional properties of the parameters to identify which properties degree equative constructions are used to compare. The total number of parameters is only 33, an unexpectedly small number. In addition, the study identifies four different types of degree equative constructions in terms of the relationship between the target of comparison and three other elements: premodificational, postmodificational, predicative, and adverbial. To understand degree equative constructions through collostructional analysis, the study calculates the association strength between the parameters and degree equative constructions. Thirteen parameters are the most strongly associated with the construction, and their value is infinite. Thus, this parameter group can be viewed as providing prototypical meanings.

Keywords: equative construction; collostructional analysis; parameter; degree equatives



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