Minimalist variability in the verb phrase

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This paper discusses language variation from a minimalist perspective. Building on work from MacDonald (2006, 2008a,b), I discuss a clustering of inner aspectual properties from English eventive predicates, which Russian lacks. Interestingly, English statives also lack this cluster. I offer an account for the presence vs. absence of this aspectual cluster in terms of the presence vs. absence of an aspectual projection: AspP. In this way, cross-linguistic and intra-linguistic variation in inner aspect are formally indistinct. I discuss why this is not unexpected under Minimalism and briefly contrast this minimalist conclusion with the minimalist approach to variation suggested by Sigurðsson (2004) in which languages share the same underlying elements, but vary in terms of which of them are pronounced.


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