How missing is the missing verb?

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The construction containing the so-called “lonesome numeral classifier” would be a challenge for syntactic theory because of the absence of a verb which is expected for a case-marked argument. Properties of the construction have been unclear between two competing approaches, a VP analysis which favors the structural presence of a missing verb and a np analysis which claims only the semantic representation of it. In an attempt to solve the inherent difficulties associated with the previous claims, the present study integrates a discourse representation structure into semantic and structural representation, and proposes a proper linking for these structures. The proposed three-way representation captures the critical properties of the construction, rooted in the structurally absent, semantically present, and discourse-driven “missing” verb.


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