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Another passive that isn’t one

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Abstract

This article adresses the semantics of the so-called <i>haben</i>-passive, i.e. the stative reading of sentences like <i>Er hat den Arm verbunden</i> (&#8216;He has his arm bandaged&#8217;). In line with recent research on <i>haben</i>-passives (Rothstein 2007; Businger this volume), I assume that these involve adjectivization of the participle. I will argue that participles in <i>haben</i>-passives share two main semantic properties with participles in German adjectival passives (<i>sein</i>-passives): (i) the semantic underspecification of the property denoted by the participle (ii) the generic interpretation of the event introduced by the verbal baseI propose an adjectival zero-affix that accounts for these semantic properties. The conclusion will be that adjectivization of the participle, in adjectival <i>sein</i>-passives as well as in <i>haben</i>-passives, has a specific semantic impact: it serves to create a property &#8211; the property of belonging to a contextually mediated <i>ad hoc</i> category based on the verbal event kind.

References

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