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Causative nominalizations

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Abstract

We investigate so-called causative psych nominalizations (CPNs), i.e., nominalizations of object experiencer (OE) verbs that realize non-agentive causers as external arguments. While they are ruled out in English (Grimshaw 1990; Iwata 1995; Pesetsky 1995) and have been suggested to be cross-linguistically banned (Landau 2010), we show that Romanian and Greek derive CPNs from the subject experiencer (SE) form of alternating OE verbs. We analyze them as nominalizations of the anticausative SE form of these verbs. Our results suggest a structural difference between Romanian/Greek and English psych nominalizations: the former can nominalize either the SE anticausative or (the passive of) the OE transitive structure (Anagnostopoulou 1999), while the latter only nominalize the OE transitive form, as the verbs lack the anticausative structure.

References

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