Year of publication
- Plural marking in argument supporting nominalizations (2008)
- This paper investigates the conditions under which Argument Supporting Nominalizations (ASNs) can receive plural marking. Under ASNs, we discuss deverbal nouns that express an event and preserve argument structure. In our discussion we consider ASNs in Romanian, English and German.
- The subject-in-situ generalization revisited (2007)
- The goal of this paper is to re-examine the status of the condition in (1) proposed in Alexiadou and Anagnostopoulou (2001; henceforth A&A 2001), in view of recent developments in syntactic theory. (1) The subject-in-situ generalization (SSG) By Spell-Out, vP can contain only one argument with a structural Case feature. We argue that (1) is a more general condition than previously recognized, and that the domain of its application is parametrized. More specifically, based on a comparison between Indo-European (IE) and Khoisan languages, we argue that (1) supports an interpretation of the EPP as a general principle, and not as a property of T. Viewed this way, the SSG is a condition that forces dislocation of arguments as a consequence of a constraint on Case checking.
- 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).
- Clitic-doubling and (non-)configurationality (2000)
- In this paper we investigate Greek, an optional clitic doubling language not subject to Kaynes generalization (Jaeggli 1982), and we argue that in this language, doubled DPs are in A-positions. We propose that Greek clitics are formal features that move, permitting DPs in argument positions. This leads to a typology according to which there are two types of clitic/agreement languages -configurational and nonconfigurational ones-, depending upon whether clitics are instantiations of formal features or not.
- 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.
- Verbs, nouns and affixation (2008)
- What explains the rich patterns of deverbal nominalization? Why do some nouns have argument structure, while others do not? We seek a solution in which properties of deverbal nouns are composed from properties of verbs, properties of nouns, and properties of the morphemes that relate them. The theory of each plus the theory of howthey combine, should give the explanation. In exploring this, we investigate properties of two theories of nominalization. In one, the verb-like properties of deverbal nouns result from verbal syntactic structure (a “structural model”). See, for example, van Hout & Roeper 1998, Fu, Roeper and Borer 1993, 2001, to appear, Alexiadou 2001, to appear). According to the structural hypothesis, some nouns contain VPs and/or verbal functional layers. In the other theory, the verbal properties of deverbal nouns result from the event structure and argument structure of the DPs that they head. By “event structure” we mean a representation of the elements and structure of a linguistic event, not a representation of the world. We refer to this view as the “event model”. According to the event model hypothesis, all derived nouns are represented with the same syntactic structure, the difference lying in argument structure – which in turn is critically related to event structure, in the way sketched in Grimshaw (1990), Siloni (1997) among others. In pursuing these lines of analysis, and at least to some extent disentangling their properties, we reach the conclusion that, with respect to a core set of phenomena, the two theories are remarkably similar – specifically, they achieve success with the same problems, and must resort to the same stipulations to address the remaining issues that we discuss (although the stipulations are couched in different forms).
- Instrument subjects are agents or causers (2006)
- It has often been noticed that one syntactic argument position can be realized by elements which seem to realize different thematic roles. This is notably the case with the external argument position of verbs of change of state which licenses volitional agents, instruments or natural forces/causers, showing the generality and abstractness of the external argument relation. (1) a. John broke the window (Agent) b. The hammer broke the window (Instrument) c. The storm broke the window (Causer) In order to capture this generality, Van Valin & Wilkins (1996) and Ramchand (2003) among others have proposed that the thematic role of the external argument position is in fact underspecified. The relevant notion is that of an effector (in Van Valin & Wilkins) or of an abstract causer/initiator (in Ramchand). In this paper we argue against a total underspecification of the external argument relation. While we agree that (1b) does not instantiate an instrument theta role in subject position, we argue that a complete underspecification of the external theta-position is not feasible, but that two types of external theta roles have to be distinguished, Agents and Causers. Our arguments are based on languages where Agents and Causers show morpho-syntactic independence (section 2.1) and the behavior of instrument subjects in English, Dutch, German and Greek (section 2.2 and 3). We show that instrument subjects are either Agent or Causer like. In section (4) we give an analysis how arguments realizing these thematic notions are introduced into syntax.