Possessor raising through thematic positions

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This chapter focuses on control into nominal domains. I analyze the consequences of loss of nominal agreement morphology for the case-licensing of null possessive pronouns in Brazilian Portuguese, arguing that its null inalienable possessors result from possessor raising to thematic positions (and onward to case positions). The evidence for this analysis is following: (a) unlike null possessors in fully <i>pro-drop</i> languages, these null possessors pattern like anaphors, requiring a local syntactic antecedent; (b) they pass all the diagnostics used to characterize obligatory control as movement; (c) they cannot occur within movement islands, such as specific DPs and relative clauses, and (d) within coordinated DPs, they must occur in a across-the-board fashion. These generalizations receive a natural account if anaphoric null possessors are the result of movement to a thematic position, as suggested by the movement theory of control.


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