Applicatives In Their Structural And Thematic Function: A Minimalist Account Of Multitransitivity
This dissertation investigates the syntactic architecture of applicative constructions in the research tradition initiated by Marantz 1993, in which a light verb head, the so-called "applicative" head, is charged with two conceptually different tasks: syntactically licensing an extra object, and assigning a thematic role. Using data from languages with overt (affixal and non-affixal) and non-overt applicative morphology, I expand Georgala's et al. (2008) approach to applicative constructions, according to which the applicative projection is uniformly above the lexical VP. Under this approach, which I call raising/thematic applicative hypothesis, the contrast between Pylkkänen's (2002, 2008) high- and low-type applicatives is that while thematic applicatives introduce an additional argument above VP, as per Pylkkänen's original analysis, raising applicatives function as an expletive head, introducing no additional argument but serving as a licenser for the highest eligible DP selected by the lexical verb. This analysis preserves Pylkkänen's insight that the core arguments in low applicatives (recipient and theme) are introduced in the domain of the lexical verb, while allowing for a single structural position for applicative heads. Applicative constructions are subject to diverse constraints (e.g., on word order, passivization, pronominalization, wh-movement, etc.), which vary depending on the language and on the type of applicative. Thus, they provide a fascinating empirical challenge for any syntactic approach that strives for simplicity and transparency such as the raising/thematic applicative hypothesis. This dissertation focuses on showing how the raising/thematic applicative hypothesis accounts for passive movement, based on the key distinction between symmetric (both objects get passivized or neither object gets passivized) and asymmetric (either the direct object or the extra object gets passivized). Particular emphasis is given to applicative constructions in German and Greek, which contribute intriguing data, thus constituting interesting puzzles both for the raising/thematic applicative hypothesis and theories of syntactic locality. Accounting for this crosslinguistic and intralinguistic variation has been one of the main goals of this dissertation.
Syntax; Applicatives; Ditransitives
Harbert, Wayne Eugene; Bowers, John S; Rooth, Mats
Ph. D., Linguistics
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis