Taking a Closer Look at Romance VN Compounds

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Romance compounds of the type <i>essuie-glace</i> (“windshield wiper”) have been analyzed in the past as nominalizations of VPs (DiSciullo&#38;Williams,1987, Lieber,1992 a.o.). We take this analysis as our point of departure. Given the actual insights into the architecture of VP it is natural to wonder whether the nominalization involves the whole VP, i.e. vP, or only its internal shell (VP). We present a number of arguments in favor of the former option. We also show that the vP hypothesis allows for a fine-grained analysis that does justice to the complete semantics of the compounds. Within this analysis the element responsible for the nominalization fulfils a role very similar to the complementizer of relatives in the Vergnaud/Kayne approach to the latter. One further issue we address concerns the relation between Romance VN-compounds and English forms such as <i>screensaver</i>. At the end of our paper we evaluate the insights the proposed analysis offers into the relationship between morphology and syntax.


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