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Why is the comparative structure of "not" so much harder for ESL learners than the "-er/more/less than"?

I'm doing an investigation into typological markedness and have found, in my teaching experiences, that students have an extremely difficult time understanding and acquiring the "not" structural comparison compared to the "more/less/-er than" structure. For example, the student will almost always say "Brazil is warmer than Canada" rather than "Canada is not as warm as Brazil". Why is this? Why does it seem like the former example is unmarked and the latter is marked? Thanks in advance for any help!