On the causative verb faire in Romance languages
Abstract: Analytic causatives have been of paramount interest in literature on Romance languages beginning with Kayne’s (1975) pioneering work on French faire a vs. faire par analytic causatives. This paper discusses the crosslinguistic variation of causatives in Romance and proposes a fine-grained analysis of them. I show that the (functional/lexical) status and the (non-)restructuring level of the causative verb/affix is a continuum within a language and across languages. Hence, causative expressions can be functional, lexical or ambiguous between restructuring (monoclausal) (cf. Cinque 2002, 2004, Wurmbrand 2003, Folli and Harley 2007, Pylkkänen 2002 and 2008) and non-restructuring in Spanish, Romanian and Brazilian Portuguese.
Keywords: causatives, restructuring, control, raising
Structural licensing of sentential complements: evidence from Russian noun-complement constructions
Abstract: In this paper I discuss restrictions on the realization of sentential complements of nouns on the basis of the distribution očto-clauses in Russian. I propose an account for these restrictions in which sentential complements of nouns are introduced by a silent preposition necessitated by the structural Case requirement of sentential complements. The observed restrictions follow from the licensing conditions on predication imposed by the silent preposition, which, as I argue, is interpreted as a relation of possession (of propositional content). These licensing conditions are satisfied only in those environments where the complement-taking noun projects a (logophorically controlled) implicit argument, which can serve as the subject for predication. If the proposed account is correct, it provides evidence for the θ-theoretic (Visibility) approach to the Case Filter, which entails that sentential arguments require structural Case licensing.
Keywords: sentential complements, nominalization, silent prepositions, predication, implicit arguments
Why all John’s friends are Dutch, not German; on differences in West Germanic in the interaction between universal quantifiers and genitives
(i) All John’s friends…
(ii) Al Jans vrienden… (Dutch)
(iii) *All(e) Johanns Freunde… (German)
In this article I show that this discrepancy results from two facts. Firstly, the German Saxon Genitive is a true case ending assigned in [Spec, NP] or [Spec, PossP] while in Dutch and English genitive case cannot be assigned at the N or n level (without a preposition) and the Saxon Genitive is more like a possessive adjective, initiating as the head of PossP and terminating in D. Secondly, in Germanic, D or [Spec, DP] must be overtly occupied in case of definiteness, and if the D node is already overtly occupied, and if genitive case has already been assigned, there is no motivation for moving a genitive phrase to the D level. I also show that Germanic dative of possession constructions (possessor doubling) can be explained within the same framework. Finally, there is a brief discussion of the potential applicability of this analysis to Scandinavian.
Romanian al and the syntax of case heads
Abstract: After briefly presenting the distribution of the Romanian genitival agreeing particle al and the most important results of the previous research, I compare three recent analyses of al that are based on the idea that al is essentially a genitive marker and make use of a K (Case) projection: (I) al is a complex of functional heads (K-P+Agr) in the extended projection of the possessee; (II) al is a K head that forms a constituent with the genitive DP; (III) al is an Agr morpheme projected at PF by a genitival K head that forms a constituent with the genitive. I first compare analysis (I) with analyses (II)-(III) and conclude that analysis (I), although it offers a straightforward explanation for agreement, is contradicted by some distributional facts which indicate that al and the genitive form a constituent. Moreover, it needs an important modification in order to account for the fact that al-genitives can appear outside DPs, in predicative position. Analyses (II) and (III), in which al forms a constituent with the genitive, do not have these empirical problems, but require some modifications of the current minimalist assumptions about structural case in order to deal with the alternation between al and prepositional genitives. I then compare analyses (II) and (III) and I conclude that (II) is preferable because it can account for the loss of agreement of al in some varieties of Romanian.
Keywords: genitive, possessors, case (case markers, structural case), agreement (possessor agreement)
John S. Lumsden
An integrated representation of Romanian 3rd person declensions
Abstract: This paper proposes an analysis of the data of thirteen Romanian declensions. The analysis is constrained by the premise that regular and productive grammatical forms and structures are processed by a task-specific procedural memory, while declarative memory processes only the root forms that carry the conceptual content of nouns, verbs and adjectives and the irregular and non-productive grammatical forms (cf. Paradis and Gopnik 1994, Ullman and Gopnik 1994, 1999, Ullman 2001, 2004, Paradis 2004, 2009, etc.). This premise predicts that these grammatical data must be a single cognitive system. The evidence here strongly supports this view. Furthermore, the hypothesis requires an analysis that makes no appeal to declarative principles. The analysis conforms to this constraint.
Keywords: inflection, procedural, network, Romanian, oddments
Marie-Anne Duffeler and Martine Coene
Comprehension of relative clauses by L2 learners of English: no asymmetry and puzzling prepositions
Abstract: The asymmetry in processing subject and object relative clauses in first language acquisition has been the focus of interest of many researchers and has often been interpreted in terms of structural distance and Relativized Minimality. This paper investigates whether this asymmetry also holds for second language acquisition. A listening comprehension test was administered to French-speaking learners of English to see first whether the subject-object asymmetry in relative clauses (RCs) evidenced in native language children is mirrored in the second language acquisition of English, and second whether oblique RCs with stranded prepositions are more difficult to understand than their pied-piped counterparts. Whereas the experiment has evidenced no difference in the comprehension of subject and object RCs, it has however revealed a better comprehension of oblique RCs with stranded prepositions. This is a rather unexpected result considering the absence of this structure in the learners’ L1.
Keywords: relative clauses, SLA, subject-object asymmetry, preposition stranding, English
David Deterding and Salbrina Sharbawi. Brunei English. A New Variety in a Multilingual Society. Dordrecht: Springer. xii + 170 pp. (Reviewed by Gabriela Anidora Brozbă)
Veronica Tomescu. The Syntax and Acquisition of Particles in English, Hungarian and Romanian. Bucharest: Editura Universităţii din Bucureşti. 219 pp. (Reviewed by Imola-Ágnes Farkas)