Radical decomposition and argument structure
The thesis is an attempt to arrive at the cartography of the low thematic domain of the clause using data from various argument structure constructions in Polish. It assumes the existence of a universal functional sequence (cf. Cinque (1999)) and the theory of morphology where morphemes are lexically specified to spell out chunks of the universal sequence. Furthermore, functional vocabulary items are flexible in the sense that they can be inserted for different subsets of their lexical specification. Part I deals with Polish conjugation class markers (so-called Themes), where a typology of the latter is proposed: high Themes spell out a superset of the featural hierarchy spelled out by low Themes. Two domains sensitive to the type of Theme are discussed: (i) verbs displaying the reflexive clitic (i.e. reflexive, anticausative, prefix-induced, and Reflexiva Tantum) and (ii) the Impersonal construction in -NO/TO. The conclusion is that bare stem inchoatives (i.e. Polish low Theme stems or inchoatives in causativizing languages) should not be equated with anticausatives. More generally, the notion ’split intransitivity’ should be deconstructed, given a very fine-grained universal sequence. Part II focuses on another type of functional vocabulary items, so-called Event Separators (ES) - morphology occurring in various participial constructions, as well as nominalizations. The main tenet is that the constant negotiation of spell out options between two items with overlapping lexical specification (i.e. Theme and ES) results in a typology of participial or nominalizing constructions. Furthermore, an analysis of Impersonal -NO/TO is advanced, where an analogy to Germanic/Romance Perfect Tense is drawn. The specific algorithm of mapping assumed to hold between the verbal and nominal functional sequence derives semantic restrictions on external arguments (i.e. features on Silverstein’s Hierarchy, e.g. animate, human, pronoun, etc.), as well as different degrees of ’subjecthood’.
ForlagUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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