Hostname: page-component-5d59c44645-hb754 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-02-22T01:11:01.162Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

The syntax of argument structure: Evidence from Italian complex predicates1

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 March 2012

RAFFAELLA FOLLI*
Affiliation:
University of Ulster
HEIDI HARLEY*
Affiliation:
University of Arizona
*
Authors' addresses: (Folli)University of Ulster, School of Communication, Jordanstown Campus, Newtonabbey BT37 0QB, UKR.Folli@ulster.ac.uk
(Harley) Department of Linguistics, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721-0028, USAhharley@email.arizona.edu

Abstract

This paper provides an analysis of Italian complex predicates formed by combining a feminine nominalization in -ata and one of three light verbs: fare ‘make’, dare ‘give’ and prendere ‘take’. We show that the constraints governing the choice of light verb follow from a syntactic approach to argument structure, and that several interpretive differences between complex and simplex predicates formed from the same verb root can be accounted for in a compositional, bottom–up approach. These differences include variation in creation vs. affected interpretations of Theme objects, implications concerning the size of the event described, the (un)availability of a passive alternant, and the agentivity or lack thereof of the subject argument.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Footnotes

[1]

We are grateful to audiences at the 39th Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages, at the University of Arizona, March, 2009; the 41st meeting of the North Eastern Linguistic Society, at the University of Pennsylvania, October, 2010; the Temporalité: Typologie et Acquisition (TEMPTYPAC) symposium at CNRS Pouchet/Paris 8, March 2010; and the University of Arizona Complex Predicates Seminar, April 2011 for helpful discussion and feedback. We would also like to thank Journal of Linguistics referees for their extensive careful and very helpful feedback on both content and presentation. Any shortcomings and mistakes, of course, remain entirely our responsibility. This work was made possible by a University of Ulster Institute for Research in Social Science Visiting Professorship granted to Harley.

References

REFERENCES

Acquaviva, Paolo. 2003. I significati delle nominalizzazioni in -ATA e i loro correlati morfologici. In Grossmann, Maria & Thornton, Anna M. (eds.), 37 congresso della Società di Linguistica Italiana: la formazione delle parole, L'Aquila, 727. Roma: Bulzoni.Google Scholar
Alexiadou, Artemis & Anagnostopoulou, Elena. 2008. Structuring participles. The West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (WCCFL) 26, 3341.Google Scholar
Bobaljik, Jonathan D. 1995. Morphosyntax: The syntax of verbal inflection. Ph.D. dissertation, MIT.Google Scholar
Bobaljik, Jonathan D. 2008. Where's Phi? Agreement as a post-syntactic operation. In Harbour, Daniel, Adger, David & Béjar, Susana (eds.), Phi-theory: Phi features across interfaces and modules, 295328. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Borer, Hagit. 1998. The morphology–syntax interface. In Spencer, Andrew & Zwicky, Arnold M. (eds.), The handbook of morphology, 151190. London: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
Borer, Hagit. 2005. Structuring sense, vol. II: The normal course of events. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Butt, Miriam & Ramchand, Gillian. 2005. Complex aspectual structure in Hindi/Urdu. In Erteschik-Shir & Rapoport (eds.), 117153.Google Scholar
Chomsky, Noam. 1995. The Minimalist Program. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Cuervo, Maria Cristina. 2003. Datives at large. Ph.D. dissertation, MIT.Google Scholar
Dardano, Maurizio. 1978. La Formazione delle Parole nell'Italiano Contemporaneo. Roma: Bulzoni.Google Scholar
de Medeiros, Alessandro Boechat. 2009. Aspecto e estrutura de evento nas nominalizações do português do Brasil: revendo o caso das nominalizações em -ada [Aspect and event structure in Brazilian Portuguese nominalizations – revisiting the case of ada-nominals]. Ms., Universidade de São Paolo.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dowty, David R. 1991. Thematic proto-roles and argument selection. Language 67, 547619.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Embick, David. 2004. On the structure of resultative participles in English. Linguistic Inquiry, 35.3, 355392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Embick, David & Marantz, Alec. 2008. Architecture and blocking. Linguistic Inquiry 39.1, 153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Erteschik-Shir, Nomi & Rapoport, Tova (eds.). 2005. The syntax of aspect: Deriving thematic and aspectual interpretation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Folli, Raffaella & Heidi, Harley. 2004. Flavors of v: Consuming results in Italian and English. In Slabakova, Roumyana & Kempchinsky, Paula, (eds.), Aspectual inquiries, 95120. Dordrecht: KluwerGoogle Scholar
Folli, Raffaella & Harley, Heidi. 2006. Benefactives aren't Goals in Italian. In Doetjes, Jenny & Gonzáez, Paz (eds.), Romance Languages and Linguistic Theory 2004, 121142. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Folli, Raffaella & Harley, Heidi. 2007. Causation, obligation and argument structure: On the nature of little v. Linguistic Inquiry 38.2, 197238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Folli, Raffaella, Harley, Heidi & Karimi, Simin. 2005. Determinants of event structure in Persian complex predicates. Lingua 115.10, 13651401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gaeta, Livio. 2002. On the interaction between morphology and semantics: The Italian suffix – ATA. Acta Linguistica Hungarica 47.4, 205229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gerdts, Donna. 2009. Women, fire, and not so dangerous things: Explorations in Halkomelem gender. Presidential address, 2009 Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas, 9 January 2009, San Francisco, CA.Google Scholar
Grimshaw, Jane. 1990. Argument structure. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Grimshaw, Jane & Mester, Armin. 1988. Light verbs and θ-marking. Linguistic Inquiry 19.2, 205232.Google Scholar
Hale, Kenneth & Keyser, Samul Jay. 1993. On argument structure and the lexical expression of syntactic relations. In Hale & Keyser (eds.), 51109.Google Scholar
Hale, Kenneth & Keyser, Samuel Jay (eds.). 1993a. The view from Building 20: Essays in linguistics in honor of Sylvain Bromberger. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Halle, Moris & Marantz, Alec. 1993. Distributed Morphology and the pieces of inflection. In Hale & Keyser (eds.), 111176.Google Scholar
Harley, Heidi. 1995. Subjects, events and licensing. Ph.D. dissertation, MIT.Google Scholar
Harley, Heidi. 2002. Possession and the double object construction. In Pica, Pierre & Rooryck, Johan (eds.), The linguistic variation yearbook, vol. 2, 2968. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
Harley, Heidi. 2005. How do verbs get their names? Denominal verbs, Manner Incorporation and the ontology of verb roots in English. In Erteschik-Shir & Rapoport (eds.), 4264.Google Scholar
Harley, Heidi. 2007. External arguments: On the independence of Voice and v°. Presented at GLOW 30, 14 April 2007, Tromsø, Norway.Google Scholar
Harley, Heidi. 2010. A Minimalist approach to argument structure. In Boeckx, Cedric (ed.), The Oxford handbook of linguistic minimalism, 426447. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Harley, Heidi. 2012. Lexical decomposition in modern generative grammar. In Hinzen, Wolfram, Werning, Markus & Machery, Edouard (eds.), Handbook of compositionality, 328350. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Hoekstra, Teun & Mulder, René. 1990. Unergatives as copular verbs: Locational and existential predication. The Linguistic Review 7, 179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ippolito, Michela. 1999. On the past participle morphology in Italian. MIT Working Papers in Linguistics 33, 111137.Google Scholar
Jackendoff, Ray. 1991. Parts and boundaries. In Levin, Beth & Pinker, Steven (eds.), Lexical and conceptual semantics, 946. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Koontz-Garboden, Andrew. 2007. Anticausativization. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 27.1, 77138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kratzer, Angelica. 1996. Severing the external argument from its verb. In Rooryck, Johan & Zaring, Laurie Ann (eds.), Phrase structure and the lexicon, 109137. Dordrecht: Kluwer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lee, Chungmin. 1973. Presupposition of existence of Theme for verbs of change. Foundations of Language 9.3, 384388.Google Scholar
Marantz, Alec. 1991. Case and licensing. In Westphal, Germán F., Ao, Benjamin & Chae, Hee-Rahk (eds.), The Eighth Eastern States Conference on Linguistics, pp. 234253. Columbus, OH: OSU Linguistics Publications.Google Scholar
Marantz, Alec. 1993. Implications of asymmetries in double object constructions. In Mchombo, Sam A. (ed.), Theoretical aspects of Bantu grammar 1, 113151. Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications.Google Scholar
Marantz, Alec. 1997. No escape from syntax: Don't try morphological analysis in the privacy of your own lexicon. University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics 4.2, 201225.Google Scholar
Mayo, Bruce, Schepping, Marie-Teres, Schwarze, Christoph & Zaffanella, Angela. 1995. Semantics in the derivational morphology of Italian: Implications for the structure of the lexicon. Linguistics 33, 583638.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McGinnis, Martha. 1998. Locality in A-movement. Ph.D. dissertation, MIT.Google Scholar
McGinnis, Martha. 2001. Variation in the syntax of applicatives. In Pica, Pierre (ed.), The linguistic variation yearbook, vol. 1, 105146. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
Miller, Philip. 1992. Clitics and constituent in phrase structure grammar. New York: Garland. [Based on Ph.D. thesis, Free University of Brussels, 1991.]Google Scholar
Noonan, Máire. 1993. Statives, perfectives and accusativity: The importance of being have. Mead, Jonathan (ed.), The West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (WCCFL) 11, 354370.Google Scholar
Pesetsky, David. 1995. Zero Syntax: Experiencers and cascades. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Pylkkänen, Liina. 2002. Introducing arguments. Ph.D. dissertation, MIT.Google Scholar
Richards, Norvin. 2001. An idiomatic argument for lexical decomposition. Linguistic Inquiry 32, 183192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sadakane, Kumi & Koizumi, Masatoshi. 1995. On the nature of the ‘dative’ particle ni in Japanese. Linguistics 33, 533.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Samek-Lodovici, Vieri. 1997. A unified analysis of noun- and verb-based nominalization in -ata (Arbeitspapier 80). Ms., Fachgruppe Sprachwissenschaft, University of Konstanz.Google Scholar
Samek-Lodovici, Vieri. 1999. The internal structure of arguments (Arbeitspapier 102). Ms., Fachgruppe Sprachwissenschaft,University of Konstanz.Google Scholar
Samek-Lodovici, Vieri. 2003. The internal structure of arguments: Evidence from complex predicate formation in Italian. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 21, 835881.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Scalise, Sergio. 1984. Morfologia lessicale. Padova: Cooperativa Libraria Editoriale Studentesca PatavinaGoogle Scholar
Scalise, Sergio. 1994. Morfologia. Bologna: il Mulino.Google Scholar
Scher, Ana Paula. 2004. As Construções com o verbo leve dar e nominalizações em -ada no português do Brasil [The constructions with the light verb ‘dar’ e the ada-nominalizations in Brazilian Portuguese]. Ph.D. dissertation, UNICAMP (Universidade Estadual de Campinas).Google Scholar
Stone, Megan. 2010. Nominalizations without Tense: Evidence from Cherokee. Ms., University of Arizona.Google Scholar
Tenny, Carol L. 1987. Grammaticalizing aspect and affectedness. Ph.D. dissertation, MIT.Google Scholar