Adpositions of Movement
  • ISSN 0774-5141
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9676
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The principal goal of this paper is to show that spatial PPs in English and Dutch have a layered internal structure. In these languages, we find PP constructions containing multiple Ps, which can be analyzed as having a layered PP structure. That is, [+locational] PP headed by lexical P is embedded in [±directional] pP headed by functional p. Following van Riemsdijk (1990) and Emonds (2001), I further propose that in English, both [+locational] P and [±directional] p are head-initial, while in Dutch, the former is head-initial and the latter, head-final. This layered PP analysis has two desirable consequences for Dutch spatial PPs. First, it can account for the preposition-postposition alternation. This alternation is explained when we assume that an unambiguously [+directional] postpositional phrase is derived by the head-initial [+locational] P moving to adjoin to the morphologically covert [+directional] p which is head-final. Second, given this internal structure of Dutch spatial PPs and the Head Movement Constraint (Travis 1984), a contrast between the availability and unavailability of P-to-V incorporation can be readily accounted for. In [-directional] phrases, the preposition cannot undergo movement to adjoin to V since it cannot adjoin to the intermediate head, i.e., the morphologically covert [-directional] p. In contrast, the [+locational] P within a [+directional] pP can undergo incorporation into V because it can adjoin to the morphologically covert [+directional] p on its way to V.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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