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The argument structure of the dative construction

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Abstract

It is argued that the ‘dative construction’ – i.e. the construction in which an Experiencer or Possessor argument is realized as a DP marked with dative Case, and the VP has the form ‘be NP’ – alternates with two ‘nominative constructions’ (i.e. constructions in which the Experiencer/Possessor argument has nominative Case): one in which the VP has the form ‘have NP,’ and another in which the VP has the form ‘be AdjP’. We try to account for the three-way realization of the same underlying Lexical Relational Structure (LRS) in terms of incorporation: when the dative Case incorporates into ‘be,’ we get ‘have’; and when a Noun incorporates into dative Case, we get an Adjective.

References

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