Year of publication
- 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.
- No objections to backward control? (2009)
- The aim of this paper is to address two main counterarguments raised in Landau (2007) against the movement analysis of Control, and especially against the phenomenon of Backward Control. The paper shows that unlike the situation described in Tsez (Polinsky & Potsdam 2002), Landau's objections do not hold for Greek and Romanian, where all obligatory control verbs exhibit Backward Control. Our results thus provide stronger empirical support for a theoretical approach to Control in terms of Movement, as defended in Hornstein (1999 and subsequent work).
- In support of long distance agree (2009)
- In the recent literature the phenomenon of long distance agreement has become the focus of several studies as it seems to violate certain locality conditions which require that agreeing elements in general stand in clause-mate relationships. In particular, it involves a verb agreeing with a constituent which is located in the verb's clausal complement and hence poses a challenge for theories that assume a strictly local relationship for agreement. In this paper we present empirical evidence from Greek and Romanian for the reality of long distance agreement. Specifically, we focus on raising constructions in these two languages and we show that they do not involve movement but rather instantiate long distance agreement. We further argue that subjunctives allowing long distance agreement lack both a CP layer and semantic Tense. However, since the embedded verb also bears phi-features, these constructions pose a further problem for assumptions that view the presence of phi-features as evidence for the presence of a C layer. Finally, we raise the question of the common properties that these languages have that lead to the presence of long distance agreement.
- Ro[u:]ting the interpretation of words (2009)
- Word formation in Distributed Morphology (see Arad 2005, Marantz 2001, Embick 2008): 1. Language has atomic, non-decomposable, elements = roots. 2. Roots combine with the functional vocabulary and build larger elements. 3. Roots are category neutral. They are then categorized by combining with category defining functional heads.