Quantity superlatives around the world

Legend (colors)

M: morphological superlative marker
(e.g. tall-est)
PERIPH: periphrastic superlative marker, in some cases optional
(e.g. Turkish en leziz `most delicious')
DEF: superlative indicated via definiteness alone
(e.g. French la plus belle `the more beautiful')
CMPR: no formal distinction between comparative and superlative
(e.g. as in Irish)
ALL: superlative indicated with "of/than all"
(e.g. Russian vysĖŒ-e vse-x `tall-er all-of')
ANY: superlative indicated with "of/than some/any"
(e.g. Khmer klang ciang kee: `strong exceed someone')
VERY or ABS: intensifiers are used, or there is only an 'absolute' (i.e. 'elative') superlative
(e.g. Maori teitei rawa atu `tall indeed away')
OTHER: either no superlative is reported, or some other strategy is used
(e.g. in Vietnamese where the superlative is reportedly indicated aspectually)
n/i: no information

Legend (shapes)

Circle: Quantity superlative used for relative but not proportional
Square: Quantity superlative used both relative and proportional
Diamond: Ambiguous between comparative and superlative
Downward-pointing triangle: No genuine superlative construction

Funded through the Swedish Research Council project Most and more: Quantity superlatives across languages

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