The zero comparative marker and the non-zero one should be more or less interchangeable. (The etymology of the non-zero marker doesn't matter.)

(A message asking to list such languages was originally posted by Lisa Bylinina; check under number 2, it's written in Russian.)

This question appeared from the exploration of the relation between low degree markers and the comparative forms cross-linguistically (see also Comparative markers coming from low degree markers ("attenuatives")? (List such languages.)) and the observation of an example--the Tatar language--where indeed the low degree marker is the source of one of the comparative forms:

Tatar is a parallel case [to Bulgarian] I discovered this summer while doing fieldwork on Tatar. not absolutely parallel though, because this low degree marker is optional in most of the comparative environments, but seems to carry no low degree meaning anymore

which is also an example exhibiting the kind of situation queried about in this question:

[This Tatar marker (coming from a low degree marker)] is a non-ambiguous variant of zero comparative morpheme (which is ambiguous with the positive form)...

  • Same here, could you please paste the message you're referring to in your question?
    – Alenanno
    Oct 23, 2011 at 8:24
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    The original Russian text of the question (in case you get a wrong encoding when you ollow the link): Мне бы хотелось узнать, в каких языках бывает следующее: 2) В языке сосуществуют два сравнительных показателя: нулевой и ненулевой (ненулевой - любой этимологии), более-менее взаимозаменяемые. Oct 23, 2011 at 8:43
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    So just to clarify your question, you're asking if there are any languages that have (at least) two means of marking comparatives, one of which is a zero-morpheme? Oct 23, 2011 at 9:02
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    @GastonÜmlaut: Not exactly. I know that there are languages like that and I have a collection of about 10 languages with this property, but I need more!
    – user446
    Oct 23, 2011 at 15:31
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    @LisaBylinina, could you answer with the ten you have? Sounds interesting.
    – kaleissin
    Oct 29, 2011 at 20:32

1 Answer 1


Aymara. However the nonzero marking may have emerged under the influence of Castilian.

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    Thank you for your contribution! Do you think you could give some more details, such as why you think there might have been Castilian influence? One or two examples with glosses would also help readers follow your argument.
    – robert
    Sep 9, 2013 at 19:16
  • @Atamiri Downvoted in lieu of some data or a reference with which i can evaluate the claim.
    – P Elliott
    Sep 10, 2013 at 23:53

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