Romance Paths as Cognate Complements: A Lexical-Syntactic Account

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In this paper, we analyze some Path constructions that apparently go against Talmy’s (1991, 2000) typological predictions concerning Romance languages. Drawing on Hale &#38; Keyser’s (2000) analysis of so-called ‘P-cognation’, we argue that the formation of Italian phrasal verbs (e.g., <i>mettere giù </i>‘put down’ or<i>buttare via </i>‘throw away’) involves a lexical-syntactic pattern where the directional particle specifies the Path element that has already been conflated in the verb: that is, the verb itself encodes or involves a directional meaning which is further specified through a P(ath) particle. We argue that Romance languages like Italian or Catalan have verb particle constructions involving ‘P-cognation’ but lack those ones involving a lexical-syntactic subordination process whereby an independent root is merged with a null verb (e.g., <i>John worked the night away</i>). As predicted by Talmy’s typology, the latter are found in ‘satelliteframed languages’ like English but not in ‘verb-framed languages’ like Italian or Catalan.


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