The quirky case of participial clauses

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Adverbial participial clauses exhibit quirky case properties. The internal argument of a transitive verb may bear accusative or nominative morphological case in Romance. Unlike gerundivals, these clauses lack T and v*, among other heads, undermining a standard case licensing approach. We propose that absolutes are VPs that value the case of their internal argument. Other alternatives like a morphological default/inherent case fail to capture the paradigm in Romance. Our approach finds independent support in data from Medieval and Renaissance Italian, an accusative system, as well as the ergative system of Basque.


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