6.4. DIFF

Definition of the DIFF functor

DIFF (difference) is a functor for such an adjunct that expresses manner by specifying the difference in quantity or quality between the compared events, states or entities or between the initial and final state of the event.

The DIFF functor is used for two kinds of differences:

Forms. The basic forms of the DIFF modification are:

Dependent clause. DIFF modifications can only be expressed by a dependent clause with the help of a supporting expression; e.g.:

Návštěva byla o to zajímavější, že na letecký průmysl dolehla.DIFF krize. (=The visit was all the more interesting because of the fact that...)

Specific forms. The following constructions are special cases of DIFF modification:

This type of construction is discussed in Section 5, "Specific constructions with the meaning of "difference"".

Agreeing form of an adjective. With event nouns (ending with -ní or ; see Section, "Functors assigned to the non-valency modifications of nouns referring to events"), the DIFF modification can also be expressed by an agreeing adjective form.


centimetrové.DIFF zlepšení nejlepšího výkonu (=lit. centimeter.adj improving (of) best performance)

Figure 7.35. The DIFF functor

The DIFF functor

Nabízejí ho o 100 tisíc levněji. (=lit. (They) offer it by 100 thousand cheaper)

6.4.1. Borderline cases with the DIFF functor

Border with the EXT functor. Semantically, the DIFF functor is very close to the EXT functor (see Section 6.5, "EXT"). Cf.:

  • Ustoupil trochu.EXT (=He stepped back a bit)

    Ustoupil krok.EXT stranou. (=He made one step aside/stepped one step aside)

    Popojít kousek.EXT (=to make a couple of steps/walk a short distance)

  • Ustoupil o trochu.DIFF (=He stepped back a bit)

    Ustoupil o krok.DIFF stranou. (=He made one step aside/stepped one step aside)

    Popojít o kousek.DIFF (=to make a couple of steps/walk a short distance)

It seems that under certain conditions the adverb and the prepostitional phrase o+4 are synonymous. However, this is not always the case. The prepostional phrase o+4 cannot be used with verbs that do not explicitely express a change between the initial and final state. Cf.:

  • jít kilometr.EXT (=walk one kilometer)

  • *jít o kilometr

The prepositional phrase o+4 is thus assigned a separate functor, namely DIFF, if it expresses a difference (the EXT functor is not used).

Borders with arguments. One of the issues related to the DIFF modifications with verbs of change is also their behavior w.r.t. valency. It has turned out that this type of modification (o+4) is not limited to a certain group of verbs (which is a necessary condition for a modification to be an argument; see Section 2.1.1, "Criteria for distinguishing between inner participants (arguments) and free modifications (adjuncts)"). Modifications in the form o+4 are only considered arguments (see Section 2, "Argument functors") if the difference meaning is weaker and the interpretation is closer to that of result (the EFF functor). Cf.:

  • Rozšířili firmu o velkoobchod.EFF (=They extended the company by the wholesale)

    Doplnil zásoby o rýži.EFF (=He added rice to the stock)