Can we dance without doing a dance?

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This paper presents two confronted theories of how roots – elements which, by definition, convey exclusively conceptual content – are integrated in the syntactic structure of the vP. In the first theory, defended by Marantz (2011), roots can only be adjuncts (modifiers), either of an abstract verbal head or of a DP merged as the object. In the second theory, defended by Acedo-Matellán (2010, 2011a), roots can occupy an adjunct position, but they can also be complements of an abstract verbal head or of an (abstract) preposition. Empirical and theoretical arguments are adduced to evaluate both proposals, which, however, share the same fundamental idea that (verbal) argument structure is a syntactic configuration.


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