Volume 39, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0929-7332
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9919



Syntactic decomposition theories of argument structure take predicates to be syntactically complex, consisting of a root and one or more functional heads. Traditionally, these functional heads have been used as potential attachment sites for adverbs, such as the repetitive adverb giving rise to the repetitive/restitutive ambiguity. In this paper, I question the assumption that these functional heads provide sublexical attachment sites based on theoretical and empirical objections. Taking both the scope of the adverb and effects of focus into account, I present a supralexical approach to the ambiguity. Discussing novel data of two Dutch repetitive adverbs as well as a repetitive verbal prefix, I argue that has a default restitutive reading that becomes repetitive if the adverb scopes over the object or if focus is placed on the adverb. This research has implications for syntactic decomposition approaches to argument structure.

Available under the CC BY 4.0 license.

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