- Part of a Book (7) (remove)
- Toward a uniform account of scrambling and clitic doubling (1997)
- A commonly held view in the literature on Scrambling and Clitic Doubling is that both constructions are sensitive to Specificity. For this reason Sportiche (1992) proposes to unify the two, an approach which has become quite standard in the relevant literature ever since. However, the claim that clitic doubling is the counterpart of Germanic scrambling has never been substantiated. In this paper we present extensive evidence from Greek that Clitic Doubling has common formal properties with Germanic Scrambling/Object Shift. Our evidence consists mainly of binding facts observed when doubling takes place, which seem, at first sight, to be completely unexpected. On closer inspection, however, it turns out that these facts are strongly reminiscent of the effects showing up in Germanic scrambling. We propose that these properties can be derived under a theory of clitic constructions along the lines of Sportiche (1992) implemented into the framework of Chomsky (1995). Finally we suggest the that the crosslinguistic distribution of Scrambling as opposed to Clitic Doubling should be linked to a parameter relating to properties of Agr: Move/Merge XP vs. Move/Merge X° to Agr. We show that this parameter unifies the behaviour of subjects and objects within a language and across languages. The paper is organised as follows. In section 2 we present evidence from binding, interpretational and prosodic effects that doubling and scrambling display very similar properties. In section 3 we present Sportiches account and point out some problems for it. In section 4 we present our proposal.
- Class features as probes (2008)
- In this article, we adress (i) the form and (ii) the function on inflection class features in minimalist grammar. The empirical evidence comes from noun inflection systems involving fusional markers in German, Greek, and Russian. As for (i), we argue (based on instances of transparadigmatic syncretism) that class features are not privative; rather, class information must be decomposed into more abstract, binary features. Concerning (ii), we propose that class features qualify as the very device that brings about fusional infection: They are uninterpretable in syntax and actas probes on stems, with matching inflection markers as goels, and thus trigger morphological Agree operations that merge stem and inflection marker before syntax is reached.
- Adjective Syntax and (the absence of) noun raising in the DP (2003)
- The paper is structured as follows. Section 2.1 introduces the basic classes of adjectives that constitute the factual core of the paper. Section 2.2 summarizes in greater detail the X° and the XP movement approaches to word order variation within the DP. Section 3 briefly discusses problems for both approaches. Sections 4.1, 5.1, and 5.2 draw from Alexiadou (2001) and contain a discussion of Greek DS and its relevance for a re-analysis of the word order variation in the Romance DP. Section 4.2 introduces refinements to Alexiadou & Wilder (1998) and Alexiadou (2001). Section 5.3. discusses certain issues that arise from the analysis of postnominal adjectives in Romance as involving raising of XPs. Section 6 discusses phenomena found in other languages, which at first sight seem similar to DS. However, I show that double definiteness in e.g. Hebrew, Scandinavian or other Balkan languages constitutes a different type of phenomenon from Greek DS, thus making a distinction between determiners that introduce CPs (Greek) and those that are merely morphological/agreement markers (Hebrew, Scandinavian, Albanian).
- Adjectival modification and multiple determiners (1998)
- The present paper deals with the distribution of the definite determiner and certain related aspects of adjectival modification in Greek DPs. As (1) shows, determiners in Greek DPs precede adjectives and adjectives precede nouns. All three categories overtly agree in gender, number and case.
- A note on non-canonical passives : the case of the get-passive (2005)
- In many languages, a passive-like meaning may be obtained through a noncanonical passive construction. The get passive (1b) in English, the se faire passive (2b) in French and the kriegen passive (3b) in German represent typical manifestations. This squib focuses on the behavior of the get-passive in English and discusses a number of restrictions associated with it as well as the status of get.
- Pieces of the be perfect in German and older English (2006)
- This paper examines the development of periphrastic constructions involving auxiliary "have" and "be" with a past participle in the history of English, on the basis of parsed electronic corpora. It is argued that the two constructions represented distinct syntactic and semantic structures: while the one with have developed into a true perfect in the course of Middle English, the one with be remained a stative resultative throughout its history. In this way, it is explained why the be construction was rarely or never used in a number of contexts, including past counterfactuals, iteratives, duratives, certain kinds of infinitives and various other utterance types that cannot be characterized as perfects of result. When the construction with have became a true perfect, it was used in such contexts, regardless of the identity of the main verb, leading to the appearance of have with verbs like come which had previously only taken be. Crucially, however, have was not spreading at the expense of be, as the be perfect had never been used in such contexts, but rather at the expense of the old simple past. At least until the end of the Early Modern English period, the shift in the relative frequency of have and be perfects is to be explained in terms of the expansion of the former into new contexts, while the latter remained stable. A formal analysis is proposed, taking as its starting point a comparison with German which shows that the older English be perfect indeed behaves more like the German stative passive than its haben and sein perfects.
- Auxiliary selection and counterfactuality in the history of English and Germanic (2008)
- The retreat of BE as perfect auxiliary in the history of English is examined. Corpus data are presented showing that the initial advance of HAVE was most closely connected to a restriction against BE in past counterfactuals. Other factors which have been reported to favor the spread of HAVE are either dependent on the counterfactual effect, or significantly weaker in comparison. It is argued that the effect can be traced to the semantics of the BE perfect, which denoted resultativity rather than anteriority proper. Related data from other older Germanic and Romance languages are presented, and finally implications for existing theories of auxiliary selection stemming from the findings presented are discussed.