[erg] The longer sunlight shines, the more energy it transfers.

Dan Flickinger danf at stanford.edu
Tue Mar 3 23:38:08 CET 2015

Hi Paul -

Thanks for the reminders of some needed improvements in the grammar.  As Emily noted, the subject line example is an instance of an entertainingly challenging construction that I have been procrastinating on, but should really get implemented, and the sooner the better :).  The example 2-4 that you gave make use of comparative and superlative forms of degree modifiers, which are only partially implemented in the ERG.  Just as with comparative/superlative adjectives, comparatives and superlatives of adverbs come in two flavors: phrasal comparatives as in |Kim is __more clearly__ visible than Browne|, and lexical ones as in |Those are __farther__ apart than these|.  The ERG currently analyzes the phrasal ones, but not yet the lexical ones.  But your email reminds me of the need to get these into the grammar, so I'll work on them too in the coming weeks.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Emily M. Bender" <ebender at uw.edu>
To: "Paul Haley" <paul at haleyai.com>
Cc: "erg" <erg at delph-in.net>
Sent: Tuesday, March 3, 2015 10:43:07 AM
Subject: Re: [erg] The longer sunlight shines, the more energy it transfers.

Hi Paul,

Your subject line sentence is an example of The Xer the Yer construction,
but your
examples 2-4 aren't, so there's at least two different things going on
here.  On
"The Xer the Yer" (which is far from trivial) see:

Charles J. Fillmore, Russell R. Lee-Goldman, and
Russell Rhodes. 2012. “The FrameNet
Constructicon” Boas, H.C. and Sag, I.A. (Eds.)
Sign-based Construction Grammar, CSLI


On Tue, Mar 3, 2015 at 10:17 AM, Paul Haley <paul at haleyai.com> wrote:

>  Greetings,
> I've come across many dozens of sentences, such as the subject sentence
> (which is simplified from the original) which do not parse using the
> on-line Logon demo.
> Am I missing something obvious?  It looks like an easy sentence.   (If
> you're interested, I have scores.)
> Thanks,
> Paul
> P.S.  Here's a few others, FYI:
>    1. The greater the intensity of the sunlight, the more energy the
>    sunlight transfers to that place in a given time.
>     2. Molecules are spaced farthest apart in a gas.
>    3. The molecules of hot air are farther apart than the molecules of
>    cold air.
>    4. The molecules of cold water are closer together than the molecules
>    of hot water.
> --
> Paul Haley
> Automata, Inc.paul at haleyai.com
> (412) 716-6420 mobile

Emily M. Bender
Professor, Department of Linguistics
Check out CLMS on facebook! http://www.facebook.com/uwclma

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