Deverbal modifiers of the noun in Germanic and Romance: interpretation and position
Abstract: In this paper it is argued that deverbal modifiers of the noun are mixed categories that, both in Germanic and Romance, can have various interpretations, from purely verbal to purely adjectival, with several mixed interpretations in between. If prenominal and postnominal reduced relatives, which generally are deverbal modifiers, differ slightly in interpretation, the basis for a unitary analysis such as Cinque’s (2010) analysis, merging both types within the functional projections of the noun, is lost. It is argued that only the semantically and syntactically richest deverbal modifiers, i.e. those projecting an argument that can move to the specifier of the relative clause, are necessarily in postnominal position. The less “verbal” types are merged in the functional projections of the noun. In Romance, noun movement, as in Cinque (1994), can make them surface in postnominal position.
Keywords: deverbal modifier, participle, adjectival position, –ble adjective, reduced relative
Maria Aurelia Cotfas
A closer look at (lack of) obviation phenomena in Romanian subjunctive complements
Abstract: The paper looks at Romanian subjunctive complements selected by volitional verbs and considers the interpretation of their null subjects and why – unlike the case of other Romance languages – these can co-refer with a main clause antecedent (what has been called “lack of obviation” in the literature). What we want to show (against claims made by Roussou 2001 and Landau 2004) is that null subject ca-subjunctives in Romanian do not trigger obviation (disjoint subjects) and that obviation effects in such contexts can appear not because of ca, but in cases where the subject of the subjunctive complement is an overt 3rd person pronoun whose phi-features match those of the main clause subject. Supporting evidence for the different interpretation of null vs. overt pronouns comes from Reinhart’s (1999, 2000) variable binding vs. co-valuation (Rule I) and Ariel’s (1991, 1994) Accessibility Theory.
Keywords: subjunctive dependents, (lack of) obviation, null subjects/pronoun, overt pronoun
The stranding of negation markers
Abstract: The inverse scope of the negation marker in a sentence such as All the students have not read the book has frequently been described in the literature, and various explanations have been offered for why the negation marker may (but need not) take scope over the more highly positioned QP. I will argue in this paper that the best explanation for this phenomenon is the Neg Stranding Hypothesis, according to which the subject of the sentence All the students have not read the book with the [Ø > “] reading is the negated QP not all the students and the negation marker has been stranded by the QP all the students.
Keywords: constituent negation, sentential negation, inverse scope, universal quantifier, stranding, Logical Form, reconstruction, partial deletion
Mara van Schaik-Rădulescu
(Non-)homogeneity in Dutch impersonal passives of unaccusatives
Abstract: This paper sheds new light on the behaviour of telic predicates, particularly unaccusatives (opstijgen ‘take off’, vallen ‘fall’), in the Dutch impersonal passive (= ImpersP) construction. Using recently collected data, I show that Zaenen’s (1988, 1993) contention that Dutch ImpersPs are barred from a non-homogeneous (telic) interpretation, though generally accepted in the literature, is empirically flawed. In fact, a telic reading obtains whenever the ImpersP of a telic predicate refers to a singular event. In this case, the implicit argument receives either a singular or a collective reading (see Landman’s (1989, 1996) theory of groups). In contrast, homogeneous ImpersPs of telic predicates assume a distributive plural event interpretation and select an argument with a distributive, bare plural-like reading. Based on a comparison with active unaccusative constructions with bare plural subjects (see Rothstein 2008a), I argue that the aspectual properties of an ImpersP predicate determine the referential properties of the argument, pace Primus (2010a and 2010b).
Keywords: impersonal passive, unaccusative, telicity, event structure, implicit argument
The path argument of resultative constructions
Abstract: The premise of the paper is that resultative constructions involve an abstract Path argument by which the secondary predicate is treated as an endpoint to a path of a change of state/location, rather than a pure state/location. The discussion in this paper revolves around the way in which Ramchand’s (2008) resP, a structural position in the syntactic skeleton of resultative constructions, corresponding to the abstract Path argument, differs in English and in Romanian. The paper offers a unified account of state and location resultatives in light of this abstract argument.
Keywords: resultative construction, Path argument, resP, English, Romanian
On concord and projection
Abstract: In the spirit of the copy theory of movement, I propose that Merge applies only to satisfy Selection or Modification. This proposal differentiates between Agreement (instantiated by an EPP-feature targeting the upper argument selected by the lexical head, in the usual way) and Concord, occurring between any head and its Specifier with no additional trigger. It also derives head-movement by proposing that the functional skeleton of a lexical head is one and the same bundle of features, projected according to a paradigm associated with the head. As a consequence, parametric variation can be reduced to properties of inflectional paradigms.
Keywords: agreement, concord, merge, nominal expression, head-movement
Compound verbs in English revisited
Abstract: Compound verbs (CVs) raise a number of puzzling questions concerning their classification, their word formation properties, their basic onomasiological function and their transitory status between “relations” and “conceptual-cores”. Using the constructionist framework in the context of a usage-based network model of language, the paper develops a proposal for the classification of CVs and an account of the semantics of word formation niches of CVs created by analogy, which yield unified semantic analyses. A hypothesis is formulated concerning the acategorial nature of CV internal constituents, which naturally accommodates the proposed classification and word formation niche analyses. A hypothesis is formulated in this context concerning the intermediary status of CVs as language-cognition interface units collapsing the “relation-conceptual core” distinction. Conclusions are drawn relating to the transitory nature of most CVs as nonce creations performing a special function in communicative interaction.
Keywords: compound verbs, acategorial constituents, classification of CVs, word formation niche semantics
Diagnostic criteria for semi-lexicality
Abstract: Starting from a tripartite classification of syntactic categories into lexical, functional and semi-lexical, the paper analyzes pseudo-partitive constructions and monoclausal modal structures in Romanian, advancing the claim that both constructions consist of single extended projections, headed by one lexical and one semi-lexical/functional head. The aim of the paper is twofold. On the one hand, it strives to offer a non-exhaustive list of criteria for diagnosing semi-lexicality in the nominal and verbal domains; on the other hand, it aims at showing yet another similarity between nominal and clausal structures.
Keywords: pseudo-partitives, extended projections, monoclausal structures, semilexicality
Kelemen Attila. Influenţa scandinavă asupra lexicului şi sintaxei limbii engleze vechi şi medii. (Reviewed by Andrei A. Avram)
Ruxandra-Oana Raianu. Gradaţia în limba japoneză în perspectivă tipologică. (Reviewed by Andrei A. Avram)