1887
Current trends in analyzing syntactic variation
  • ISSN 0774-5141
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9676
USD
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes

Abstract

The causative-inchoative alternation has been a subject of much debate. It might also be a case where variation patterns that escape existing typological descriptions provide a new perspective on the problem. We analyze the variability and systematicity of alternative argument structure realizations, together with corresponding aspectual/event properties, by considering three different ways in which change-of-state verbs can be semantically and syntactically construed in Romance. Under the general assumption that the syntactic projection of arguments correlates non-trivially with event structure, we apply a novel theoretical approach to the semantics and syntax of the causative-inchoative alternation. We argue that different verbal heads can be independently combined to yield contrasting verbal configurations, with corresponding event/argument structure properties quite freely. Alongside standard cases such as causative and inchoative frames, we discuss what we call ‘stative-causative constructions’ [SCC], where the initiator appears as the sole argument. The general properties of this additional (third) variant suggest the availability of a null causative (external-argument-selecting) v producing original monoargumental structures with corresponding (simpler) event structure. These little-known Spanish data challenge current argument structure theories assuming that the causative v necessarily implicates the eventive (BECOME) component, or that the latter figures in the verb’s permanent lexical entry. SCCs provide empirical evidence suggesting that what is commonly described as a basic unaccusative/transitive verb may have unergative uses.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1075/bjl.00005.man
2018-04-23
2019-10-17
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

  1. Alexiadou, Artemis
    2010 “On the Morphosyntax of (Anti Causative) Verbs.” InLexical Semantics, Syntax, and Event Structure, ed. by Malka Rappaport-Hovav , Edit Doron , and Ivy Sichel , 177–203. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199544325.003.0009
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199544325.003.0009 [Google Scholar]
  2. Arad, Maya
    1998 “Psych-notes.” UCL Working Papers in Linguistics10: 203–223.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Bhatt, Rajesh , and Roumyana Pancheva
    2006 “Implicit Arguments.” InBlackwell Companion to Syntax, ed. by M. Everaert , and H. van Riemsdijk , VolumeII, 558–588. Malden: Blackwell. doi: 10.1002/9780470996591.ch34
    https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470996591.ch34 [Google Scholar]
  4. Borer, Hagit
    2003Structuring Sense. The Normal Course of Events. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Burzio, Luigi
    1986Italian Syntax: A Government-Binding Approach. Dordrecht: Reidel. doi: 10.1007/978‑94‑009‑4522‑7
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-009-4522-7 [Google Scholar]
  6. Cattaneo, Andrea
    2008 “Italian Null Objects and Resultative/Depictive Predication.” NYUWPL1. Available atlinguistics.as.nyu.edu/docs/CP/2345/cattaneo-2007-nyuwpl.pdf.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Chierchia, Gennaro
    2004 “Scalar Implicatures, Polarity Phenomena and the Syntax/Pragmatics Interface.” InStructures and Beyond, ed. by Adriana Belletti , 39–103. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Dobrovie-Sorin, Carmen
    1994The Syntax of Romanian. Berlin: de Gruyter. doi: 10.1515/9783110886597
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110886597 [Google Scholar]
  9. Doron, Edit
    2003 “Agent and Voice: The Semantics of the Semitic Templates.” Natural Language Semantics11: 1–67. doi: 10.1023/A:1023021423453
    https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1023021423453 [Google Scholar]
  10. Dowty, David
    1979Word Meaning and Montague Grammar. Dordrecht: Reidel. doi: 10.1007/978‑94‑009‑9473‑7
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-009-9473-7 [Google Scholar]
  11. Folli, Raffaella and Harley, Heidi
    2005 “Flavors of v: Consuming results in Italian and English.” InAspectual Inquiries, ed. by Roumyana Slabakova , and Paula Kempchinsky , 95–120. Dordrecht: Springer. doi: 10.1007/1‑4020‑3033‑9_5
    https://doi.org/10.1007/1-4020-3033-9_5 [Google Scholar]
  12. Folli, Raffaella , and Heidi Harley
    2007 “Causation, Obligation, and Argument Structure: On the Nature of Little v.” Linguistic Inquiry38: 197–238. doi: 10.1162/ling.2007.38.2.197
    https://doi.org/10.1162/ling.2007.38.2.197 [Google Scholar]
  13. Folli, Raffaella , Heidy Harley , and Simin Karimi
    2005 “Determinants of Event Type in Persian Complex Predicates.” Lingua115(10): 1365–1401 doi: 10.1016/j.lingua.2004.06.002
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lingua.2004.06.002 [Google Scholar]
  14. Folli, Raffaella
    2002Constructing Telicity in English and Italian. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Oxford.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Grimshaw, J.
    1990Argument structure. Cambridge MA: The MIT Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Hale, Ken , and Samuel J. Keyser
    1991 “On the Syntax of Argument Structure.” Lexicon Project Working Papers 34, Cambridge: MIT.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Hale, Ken , and Samuel Jay Keyser
    1992 “Lexical Categories and the Projection of Argument structure.” InSyntactic Theory and Basque Syntax, ed. by Joseba Lakarra and Jon Ortiz de Urbina , 147–173. Donostia: Supplements of the ASJU.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Hale, Ken , and Keyser, Samuel J.
    1993 “On Argument Structure and the Lexical Expression of Syntactic Relations.” InThe View From Building 20, ed. by K. Hale , and S. J. Keyser , 53–109. Cambridge: MIT Press
    [Google Scholar]
  19. 2002Prolegomenon to a Theory of Argument Structure. Cambridge: MIT Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. 2005 “Aspect and the Syntax of Argument Structure of verb roots in English.” InThe Syntax of Aspect, ed. by Nomi Erteschik-Shir , and Tova Rapoport , 42–63. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199280445.003.0002
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199280445.003.0002 [Google Scholar]
  21. Harley, Heidi
    1995Subjects, Events, and Licensing. Ph.D. thesis, MIT, Cambridge, Ma.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. 2005 “How Do Verbs Get Their Names? Denominal verbs, Manner Incorporation, and the Ontology of Verb Roots in English.” InThe Syntax of Aspect: Deriving Thematic and Aspectual Interpretation, ed. by Erteschik-Shir, Nomi , and Tova Rapoport , 42–64. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199280445.003.0003.
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199280445.003.0003 [Google Scholar]
  23. 2008 “On the Causative Construction.” InThe Oxford Handbook of Japanese Linguistics, ed. by Shigeru Miyagawa , and Mamoru Saito , 20–53. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. 2009 “The morphology of nominalizations and the syntax of vP.” InQuantification, Definiteness and Nominalization, ed. by Rather, Monika , and Anastasia Giannankidou , 320–342. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. 2014 “On the Identity of Roots.” Theoretical Linguistics. 40 (3–4): 225–276.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. 2011 “A Minimalist Approach to Argument Structure.” InThe Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Minimalism, ed. by Cedric Boeckx , 427–448. Oxford: OUP.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Harley, Heidi and Ralf Noyer
    2000 “Licensing in the non-lexicalist lexicon.” InThe Lexicon/Encyclopedia Interface, ed. by Bert Peeters , 349–374. Amsterdam: Elsevier Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Haspelmath, Martin
    1993 “More on the Typology of Inchoative/Causative Verb Alternations.” InCausatives and Transitivity, ed. by Bernard Comrie , and Maria Polinsky , 87–120. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/slcs.23.05has
    https://doi.org/10.1075/slcs.23.05has [Google Scholar]
  29. Jackendoff, Ray
    1990Semantic Structures. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Kratzer, Anegelika
    1996 “Severing the External Argument from its Verb.” InPhrase Structure and the Lexicon, ed. by Johan Rooryck , and Laurie Zaring , 109–137. Dordrecht: Kluwer. doi: 10.1007/978‑94‑015‑8617‑7_5
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-015-8617-7_5 [Google Scholar]
  31. Labelle, Marie
    1992 “Change of state and valency.” Linguistics28: 375–414.10.1017/S0022226700015267
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022226700015267 [Google Scholar]
  32. Landau, Idan
    2010 “The Explicit Syntax of Implicit Arguments.” Linguistic Inquiry41: 357–388. doi: 10.1162/LING_a_00001
    https://doi.org/10.1162/LING_a_00001 [Google Scholar]
  33. Levin, Beth
    2009 “Aspectual Approaches to Lexical Semantic Representation.” LSA Course (available atweb.stanford.edu/~bclevin/lsa09aspapp.pdf.)
  34. Levin, Beth and Malka Rappaport-Hovav
    1995Unaccusativity. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Levin, Beth
    1993Verb Classes in English. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Mangialavori Rasia, M. Eugenia
    2017 “Transitivity alternations in Romance. A case of (micro)parametrical variation?” Paper presented at Theoretical and Empirical Approaches to Microvariation (TEAM 2017) , Padua, 22–24 June 2017.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. McIntyre, Andrew
    2004 “Event Paths, Conflation, Argument Structure and VP Shells.” Linguistics42: 523–571. doi: 10.1515/ling.2004.018
    https://doi.org/10.1515/ling.2004.018 [Google Scholar]
  38. Parsons, Terence
    1990Events in the Semantics of English: A Study in Subatomic Semantics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Ramchand, Gillian
    2008Verb meaning and the lexicon: a first-phase syntax. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511486319
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511486319 [Google Scholar]
  40. Rappaport-Hovav, Malka and Beth Levin
    1998 “Building Verb Meanings.” inThe Projection of Arguments, ed. by Miriam Butt , and Wilhelm Gueder , 97–134. Stanford: CSLI.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Rappaport-Hovav, Malka , and Beth Levin
    2000 “Classifying Single Argument Verbs.” InLexical Specification and Insertion, ed. by Peter Coopmans , Martin Everaert and Jane Grimshaw , 269–304. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/cilt.197.13hov
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cilt.197.13hov [Google Scholar]
  42. 2011 “Lexicon Uniformity and the Causative Alternation.” InThe Theta System: Argument Structure at the Interface, ed. by Martin Everaert , Marijana Marelj , and Tal Siloni , 150–176. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Reinhart, Tanya
    2002 “The Theta System: An Overview”. Theoretical Linguistics. 28: 229–290.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. Ritter, Elizabeth , and Sara Rosen
    1998 “Delimiting Events in Syntax.” InThe Projection of Arguments, ed. by Miriam Butt , and Wilhelm Gueder , 135–164. Stanford: CSLI.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Rivero, Maria L.
    2004 “Datives and the Non-Active Voice/Reflexive Clitics in Balkan languages.” InBalkan Syntax and Semantics, ed. by Olga Tomić , 237–267. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/la.67.13riv
    https://doi.org/10.1075/la.67.13riv [Google Scholar]
  46. Rizzi, Luigi
    1986 “Null Objects in Italian and the Theory of pro .” Linguistic Inquiry17 (3): 501–558.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Rosen, Susan
    1996 “Events and Verb Classification.” Linguistics34: 191–223. doi: 10.1515/ling.1996.34.2.191
    https://doi.org/10.1515/ling.1996.34.2.191 [Google Scholar]
  48. Rothmayr, Antonia
    2009The Structure of Stative Verbs. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/la.143
    https://doi.org/10.1075/la.143 [Google Scholar]
  49. Russi, Cinzia
    2008Italian Clitics. Berlin: de Gruyter.10.1515/9783110206975
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110206975 [Google Scholar]
  50. Williams, E.
    1985 “PRO and the subject of NP.” Natural Language and Linguistic Theory3(3): 297–315.
    [Google Scholar]
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1075/bjl.00005.man
Loading
  • Article Type: Research Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error