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There are many such problems for which a greedy approach provides an optimal solution much more quickly than would a dynamic-programming approach.

This is from Page 321, Introduction to Algorithms 2nd Edition.

I know omitting "would" could convey somewhat different meaning. I thought even with "would" I would place it in the sentence as "...quickly than a dynamic-programming approach would".

Does the inversion means an emphasis here?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I'd say it was purely a matter of style. The writer may have felt that to put 'would' at the end of the sentence would have meant asking the reader to wait too long for it.

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Comparative and superlative constructions trigger Negative Polarity items, and one such NPI is the enabling of auxiliary inversion, e.g:

  • I have seldom seen such a thing ~ Seldom have I seen such a thing.
  • I have frequently seen such a thing ~ *Frequently have I seen such a thing.

Inversion here just functions to get the modal up a little closer in the sentence to the implicit negation in the comparative. It's not so much "emphasis" as it is an expression of closer semantic relation.

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