### 4.2. Comparison by means of the conjunction "než" (comparison on the basis of difference)

The conjunction "než" is used for comparison based on difference.

Also in this kind of constructions, two events (or states) are compared with respect to certain degree or property/feature, which is expressed - in the case of constructions with the conjunction "než" - by an adjective or adverb in comparative. Yet also direct comparison of two entities is common. This concerns especially constructions with numbers, i.e. cases in which e.g. weight, amount, length etc. of two items is compared (by means of relevant measure units).

Unlike with comparative constructions with the conjunction "jako", the presence of the expression referring to the degree or the feature with respect to which the comparison is made is rather typical in the constructions with "než"; it is, therefore, usually not omitted at the surface level.

The following sections provide a detailed decription of various types of comparative constructions with the conjunction "než" and the rules for their analysis. We are talking about the following types of comparative constructions:

#### 4.2.1. Comparing quantities by means of the conjunction "než"

Constructions in which two entities are compared on the basis of their quantitative parameters (quantity, weight, age, length etc.) are usually analyzed as containing no ellipsis. Presumably, a condensed expression like the following one is only possible when two identical units are compared:

• více korun než 50 korun (=more crowns than 50 crowns)více než 50 korun (=more than 50 crowns)

. The node with the `CPR` functor depends on the adjective or adverb in comparative. Cf.:

• částka větší.`RSTR` než miliarda.`CPR` korun (=lit. sum bigger than billion (of) crowns)

The node for <než> miliarda has the `CPR` functor and depends on the comparative form of the adjective velký. There is no ellipsis in the construction. Cf. Fig. 8.66. NB! The following example is different: částka velká.`RSTR` miliardu.`EXT` korun (=lit. sum big billion (of) crowns).

More examples:

pařez těžší.`RSTR` než 10 kg.`CPR` (=lit. stump heavier than 10 kg) Fig. 8.67

více.`EXT` než 10 kg.`CPR` těžký.`RSTR` pařez (=lit. more than 10 kg heavy stump) Fig. 8.68

Pařez má více.`PAT` než 10 kg.`CPR` (=lit. Stump has more than 10 kg) Fig. 8.69

Pařez je těžší.`PAT` než 10 kg.`CPR` (=lit. Stump is heavier than 10 kg) Fig. 8.70

Pařez je více.`EXT` než 10 kg.`CPR` těžký.`PAT` (=lit. Stump is more than 10kg heavy) Fig. 8.71

Více.`ACT` než 50 .`CPR` ho nakonec uspokojilo. (=lit. More than 50 Kc him finally satisfied) Fig. 8.72

Více.`RSTR` peněz.`ACT` než 50 .`CPR` ho nakonec uspokojilo. (=lit. More money than 50 Kc him finally satisfied) Fig. 8.73

Vrátili mu více.`PAT` než 50 korun.`CPR` (=lit. (They) returned him more than 50 crowns) Fig. 8.74

Přišlo jich.`ACT` víc.`RSTR` než 50.`CPR` (=lit. Came (of) them more than 50; meaning: More than 50 of them came) Fig. 8.75

Lidí.`ACT` přišlo víc.`COMPL` než 50.`CPR` (=lit. (Of) people came more than 50) Fig. 8.76

hmotnost větší.`RSTR` než 50.`CPR` (=lit. weight bigger than 50)

více.`EXT` než 50 kg.`CPR` velká.`RSTR` hmotnost (=lit. more than 50 kg big weight)

Hmotnost je více.`PAT` než 50 kg.`CPR` (=lit. Weight is more than 50 kg)

Hmotnost je více.`EXT` než 50 kg.`CPR` velká.`PAT` (=lit. Weight is more than 50 kg big)

Váží víc.`EXT` než 60 kilo.`CPR` (=lit (He) weighs more than 60 kg)

Hraje déle.`THL` než 3 hodiny.`CPR` (=lit. (She) plays longer than 3 hours)

Přeskočil to více.`THO` než šestkrát.`CPR` (=lit. (He) jumped_over it more than six_times)

Dostal méně.`PAT` než 50 korun.`CPR` (=lit. (He) got less than 50 crowns)

NB! In constructions with a different kind of comparison (and where no comparison is present): To je více. (=This is more); Vrátili mu více. (=They gave him back more)), the numeral expressions like více (=more), méně (=less) are treated as adjectival numerals, which are dependent on a noun (and have the `RSTR` functor; see Section 10.2.2, "Numeral expressions "hodně", "více", "dost", "moc", "málo", "méně", "stejně", "plno""). If there is no noun (governing the numeral) present in the surface structure, a new node is added to the construction - following the rules in Section 12.1.2, "Ellipsis of the governing noun". Cf.:

• Vrátili mu více.`PAT` než 50 korun.`CPR` (=lit. (They) returned him more than 50 crowns)

Comparing quantities by means of the conjunction "než". The Patient of the verb vrátit is represented directly by the indefinite numeral více; no node (for a governing noun) is added to the structure.

• Vrátili mu více než vloni (=They returned him more than last year).

= Vrátili mu více.`RSTR` {korun / `#EmpNoun`.`PAT`} než mu {vrátili.`CPR`} vloni (=They returned him more money than they returned him last year).

This is not a case of comparing quantities. The construction is to be analyzed according to the rules in Section 4.2.3, "Comparing two events by means of the conjunction "než"". The indefinite numeral více is analyzed according to the rules in Section 10.2.2, "Numeral expressions "hodně", "více", "dost", "moc", "málo", "méně", "stejně", "plno"": it has the `RSTR` functor and depends on a newly established node for the governing noun.

#### 4.2.2. Condensed expression of comparison with the conjunction "než"

A special case of comparative constructions are constructions with an adverb in comparative where the comparison is condensed (in a fixed way). For example:

Mzda se víc.`EXT` než.`DPHR` ztrojnásobila.`PRED` (=lit. Salary REFL more than tripled) Fig. 8.79

Non-verbal idiom "více než". In these constructions, expressions like více než (=more than), méně než (=less than), hůře než (=worse than), hodně jak (=lit. a lot like) are considered non-verbal idioms (see Section 8.1, "Non-verbal idioms"): the node representing the adverb in comparative gets the `EXT` functor. The expression než is assigned a separate node, directly dependent on the node for the adverb in comparative; it has the t-lemma než and the `DPHR` functor. We are aware of the fact that this solution is rather technical and not a serious attempt to capture the meaning structure of the construction.

Examples:

Byl tam více.`EXT` než.`DPHR` tisícihlavý.`RSTR` zástup. (=lit. Was there more than thousand_head crowd) Fig. 8.77

Po více.`EXT` než.`DPHR` dvacetiletém.`RSTR` manželství ji opustil. (=lit. After more than twenty_year marriage (he) her left) Fig. 8.78

více.`EXT` než.`DPHR` dvouleté.`RSTR` úsilí (=lit. more than two_year efforts)

víc.`EXT` než.`DPHR` krátkou.`RSTR` minisukni. (=lit. (She) has more than short miniskirt)

Skončilo to více.`EXT` než.`DPHR` miliardovým.`RSTR` přebytkem. (=lit. Ended_up it (with) more than billion.adj surplus)

Zvýšili počet míst o více.`EXT` než.`DPHR` polovinu.`DIFF` (=lit. (They) increased number (of) places by more than half)

Upozornili na to více.`EXT` než.`DPHR` před rokem.`TWHEN` (=lit. (They) warned about that more than a year ago)

Drak byl hůř.`EXT` než.`DPHR` škaredý.`PAT` (=lit. Dragon was worse than ugly)

#### 4.2.3. Comparing two events by means of the conjunction "než"

When comparing two events (or states) by means of the conjunction "než", the node for the governing verb of the dependent comparative clause has the `CPR` functor and depends on the node for the expression referring to the degree of difference in the governing clause.

Examples:

Dorazil dříve, než dorazil.`CPR` Jirka. (=He arrived earlier than Jirka arrived) Fig. 8.80

Jan oslovil docenta zdvořileji, než ho oslovil.`CPR` kamarád. (=Jan addressed the lecturer more politely than his friend addressed him)

Expression referring to the degree of difference. The expression referring to the degree of difference is often an adverb (e.g.: dříve (=sooner/earlier), více (=more), později (=later)), or adjective (e.g.: dřívější (=sooner/earlier), pozdější (=later), více (=more)) in comparative. Instead of an adjective or adverb in comparative, there can also be specific pronominal expressions in the construction: jiný (=other), jindy (=other time), jinak (=other way). The node of such an expression can have different functors depending on its position in the sentence:

• if it represents an adverb, its functor is usually `MANN`.

For example:

Dorazil dříve.`TWHEN` , než dorazil.`CPR` Jirka. (=He arrived earlier than Jirka arrived) Fig. 8.80

Je to šroubek méně.`EXT` kvalitní, než jsou.`CPR` jiné šroubky. (=lit. Is it screw less quality than are other screws)

• in constructions with the copula "být" it has the `PAT` functor (especially if it represents an adjective).

For example:

Úkoly jsou náročnější.`PAT` , než byly.`CPR` minule. (=The tasks are more difficult than they were last time)

• the expression referring to the degree of difference can also modify a noun and have the `RSTR` functor.

For example:

Cílem je mít nižší.`RSTR` ceny, než .`CPR` konkurence. (=The goal is to have lower prices than the competition has) Fig. 8.86

Je to menší.`RSTR` zlo, než jsou.`CPR` voličské hlasy. (=It is lesser evil than the voters' votes) Fig. 8.91

• Also the expressions spíše (=rather) and raději (=preferably) are considered expressions referring to the degree of difference. These nodes have usually the `EXT` functor.

For example:

Přijď raději.`EXT` do pátku než { přijít.`CPR`} příští týden. (=Come rather before Friday than next week) Fig. 8.84

Spíše.`EXT` než { být.`CPR`} { záruka.`PAT`} vědomí jasné linie je zárukou úspěchu schopnost komunikovat. (=Rather than seeing a clear line, the ability to communicate is a guarantee of success) Fig. 8.88

Opatrnější je spíš.`EXT` Pavel než { být.`CPR`} { opatrný.`PAT`} Petr. (=Rather Pavel than Petr is cautious) Fig. 8.89

Jímá nás spíše.`EXT` úzkost než { jímat.`CPR`} touha. (=What we feel is rather anxiety than desire)

Na třídní schůzky chodí spíše.`EXT` maminky než { chodit.`CPR`} tatínkové. (=Rather mothers than fathers attend class meetings)

Přijď raději.`EXT` pozdě než { přijít.`CPR`} nikdy. (=Better come late than never) (NB! In the construction: Raději nepřijdu. (=I'd rather not come) the expression raději has the `ATT` functor.)

In comparative constructions with the conjunction "než" (unlike the constructions with the conjunction "jako"), the expression referring to the degree of comparison, i.e. the comparative, is never omitted in the surface structure. On the contrary, the presence of the comparative is obligatory in these constructions. It is therefore not necessary to introduce a t-lemma substitute for the expression referring to the degree of difference.

Ellipsis of the governing verb of the dependent clause. If the governing verb of the dependent clause is not expressed in the surface structure of the sentence, a new node with the `CPR` functor is inserted into the tree, following the rules in Section 12.1.1, "Ellipsis of the governing verb".

Examples:

Dorazil dříve než { dorazit.`CPR`} Jirka. (=He arrived earlier than Jirka) Fig. 8.81

Pověsil obrázek níž než { pověsit.`CPR`} pod okno. (=He hung the picture lower than below the window) Fig. 8.82

Koupíme to jinde než { koupit.`CPR`} na trhu. (=We'll buy it at some place other than the market) Fig. 8.83

Vypadá zdravěji než { vypadat.`CPR`} on. (=He looks healthier than him) Fig. 8.85

Jan oslovil docenta zdvořileji než { oslovit.`CPR`} kamarád. (=Jan addressed the lecturer more politely than his friend (did))

Má svůj původ například v zavedení nové výrobní metody dosahující nižších výrobních nákladů, než {`#EmpVerb`.`CPR`} které má konkurence. (=...lower production cost than the one of the competition)

T-lemma substitute `#Some`. When analyzing comparative constructions with the conjunction "než", the t-lemma substitute `#Some` is used in some cases. A node with the t-lemma `#Some` is added into the dependent clause in place of the non-expressed nominal part of the verbonominal predicate if it is impossible to copy the node from the governing clause (due to semantic reasons; in cases when this nominal part is represented by adjectives like více (=more), méně (=less), jiný (=different)). Cf.:

• Situace v armádě je jiná.`PAT` než na ministerstvu. (=The situation in the army is different from that at the Ministry)

= The situation in the army is different from the situation that is at the Ministry.

The dependent clause modifies the expression jiný. In place of the non-expressed governing verb of the dependent clause, a copy of the corresponding node in the governing clause is inserted. Due to semantic reasons, it is however impossible to copy the nominal part of the predicate as well; therefore, a new node with the t-lemma `#Some` and the `PAT` functor is inserted in the relevant position. Cf. Fig. 8.92.

Another example:

Což je více.`PAT` než bylo.`CPR` {`#Some`.`CPR`} v roce 1994. (=Which is more than it was in 1994)

For more on copying of multi-word predicates, see Section 12.1.1.1, "Textual ellipsis of the governing verb".

In most constructions with the conjunction "než" in which the governing verbs of both clauses are part of verbonominal predicates, it is possible to copy the nominal part from the governing to the dependent clause. However, the nominal part in the dependent clause differs from the one in the governing clause in the value of the `degcmp` grammateme (see Section 5.8, "The `degcmp` grammateme (degree)"): while in the governing clause, the adjective is in comparative, the same adjective is in positive in the dependent clause. Cf.:

• Je zdravější než ryba. (=He is fitter than a fish)

= Je zdravější [`degcmp`=`comp`] , než je zdravá [`degcmp`=`pos`] ryba. (=fitter than a fish is fit) (cf. Fig. 8.87)

More examples:

Je opatrnější [`degcmp`=`comp`] než { být.`CPR`} { opatrný.`PAT` [`degcmp`=`pos`]} Pavel. (=He is more cautious than Pavel)

Bezpéřová lůžka jsou lepší [`degcmp`=`comp`] než { být.`CPR`} { dobrý.`PAT` [`degcmp`=`pos`]} péřová. (=Beds without feathers are better than those with feathers)

Je to šroubek méně [`degcmp`=`comp`] kvalitní než { být.`CPR`} { kvalitní.`PAT` [`degcmp`=`pos`]} jiné šroubky. (=It is a screw of lower quality than other screws)

Homonymous constructions. In case of homonymy, only one of the possible meanings is chosen (and assigned an analysis), namely the one that is more likely in the given context, cf. the two meanings of the sentence:

• Zná lepšího polemika než Jan. (=He knows a better polemicist than Jan)

• Zná lepšího polemika než zná Jan. (=He knows a better polemicist than Jan does)

With this interpretation the verb znát is copied into the dependent clause.

• Zná lepšího polemika než je Jan (=He knows a better polemicist than Jan is).

With this interpretation the governing verb of the dependent clause is represented by a node with the `#EmpVerb` t-lemma.

Comparison expressed by a deverbal adjective or noun. Comparative constructions in which the governing clause is nominalized, i.e. represented by a deverbal adjective or noun, are analyzed similarly (to the cases described above). For example:

pacient vypadající dnes zdravěji než včera (=lit. patient looking today healthier than yesterday)

Jan chovající se hůře než malé dítě (=lit. Jan behaving worse than small child)

Ellipsis of the governing clause. Similarly, also complex cases involving ellipsis of the governing clause are analyzed. For example:

Udělal větší hloupost, než když někdo ukradne kousek čokolády. (=He made a bigger mistake than when somebody steals a piece of chocolate) Fig. 8.90

For the rules, see Section 12.1.3, "Ellipsis of the governing clause".