Limits on P: filling in holes vs. falling in holes
All Germanic languages make extensive use of verb-particle combinations (known as separable-prefix verbs in the OV languages). I show some basic differences here distinguishing the Scandinavian type from the OV West Germanic languages, with English superficially patterning with Scandinavian but actually manifesting a distinct type. Specifically, I argue that the P projection is split into p and P (in accordance with earlier work), roughly analogous to v and V in the verb phrase. In English, p is always present in PP, and enables P to assign case, if P has an internal argument (as it does in "fall in the hole"). The arguments of particle verbs are then arguments of p, external arguments of the particle (as in "throw the rock in"). OV West Germanic allows p to be missing completely, thus having a type of unaccusative particle whose inner argument must receive case from the verb (corresponding to "fall the hole in," impossible in English). Scandinavian allows p to be missing, so that there is no external argument of the particle, but provides an alternative source for case for the internal argument (giving examples corresponding to "pour in the glass"). Thus English and Scandinavian are different from OV West Germanic in lacking the unaccusative type of particle, while Scandinavian differs from OV West Germanic and English in having an alternative source of case.
In special issue: Proceedings of SCL 19
ForlagUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
SiteringNordlyd 31.2(2003), pp 431-445
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