Volume 40, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0378-4169
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9927
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Some long-standing questions surrounding anticausatives in languages like French include whether the morphological marking (presence/absence of ) correlates with interpretational differences and/or different syntax. We examine the three anticausatives classes (optional , obligatory , no ) in three aspectual contexts and formulate a generalization whereby a default morphological form (reflexive-/non-reflexive-marked) can be identified for each context, plus an interpretive anti-blocking effect: if the lexicon does not provide the default form then the other form (regardless of morphology) preserves the aspectual interpretation of its transitive source. French anticausative is tied to lexical aspect (rather than syntax), but the distribution is complex and non-transparent. We argue that the grammar allows bidirectional competition among forms and interpretations and the formalize analysis in Bidirectional OT (Superoptimality).


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