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Implicit agentivity without agents in the syntax

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Abstract

This paper defends a unified characterization of se-verbs and argues that the passive and middle readings are contextually triggered. The analysis points out that the derivations of agents is independent of the edge properties of ‘little’ v, and thus deviates from Raposo & Uriagereka (1996). The basic idea: the eventive passive reading of se-verbs depends on the projection of an agent at LF ­(although not in the syntax), which, in turn, depends on the Spec, IP being semantically empty (i.e., either not projected or else filled with an expletive subject).

References

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