The Syntax of the <i>Be</i>-Possessive
Parametric variation and surface diversities
This book is the first attempt to provide a unified account of the <i>be-</i>possessive syntax and its extension to the modal and the perfect constructions in Russian/North Russian within a generative framework. Apparently diverse constructions are construed as deriving from the <i>have/be</i> parameter, which depends on the utilization of the prepositional complementizer with a Case feature. The <i>be</i>-perfect structure provides an adequate environment where ergativity is encoded via verbal nominalization. The relevance of the <i>be</i>-perfect structure for a split ergative pattern shows that the ergative system is a syntactically conditioned phenomenon rather than a purely morphological diversity. This volume also offers the diachronic study of the <i>be</i>-syntax, investigating the evolution of the <i>be</i>-perfect and <i>be</i>-modal constructions, which has rarely been explored within a formal framework. Concrete scenarios are proposed for the developmental paths of the <i>be</i>-perfect and the <i>be</i>-modal constructions, based on textual evidence in old North Russian.