By Idan Landau
A brand new account of the atypical syntax of mental verbs argues that experiencers are grammaticalized as locative words.
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Extra info for The Locative Syntax of Experiencers (Linguistic Inquiry Monographs, 53)
Schae¤er, pers. ) The third type A language to be discussed here, Finnish, exempliﬁes strategy (91b), where inherent case (below, elative) is retained under passive. (94) a. Pida¨n sinu-sta. ’ b. Sinu-sta pideta¨a¨n. ’ (L. Pylkka¨nen, pers. ) Passive 49 Thus, the hypothesis that accusative experiencers bear inherent case, coupled with the independently known strategies in (91), yields an extremely nontrivial crosslinguistic prediction: (95) Verbal passives of nonagentive ObjExp verbs will be available only in languages allowing either pseudo-passives or (oblique) quirky passives.
Theme, Experiencer[DAT] Core Psych Properties 41 In fact, however, these structures are ungrammatical in French (see (80)). The question, then, is this: Why is a dative experiencer not licensed in a causative complement, whereas a dative goal is? (83) a. *C ¸ a a fait plaire Marie a` Pierre. ’ b. C ¸ a a fait parler Marie a` Pierre. ’ To answer this question, we must make some assumptions about the structure of the causative complement. Although this is a topic of much debate (see Rouveret and Vergnaud 1980; Burzio 1986; Guasti 1996; Kayne 2004), the following three observations are generally accepted: (i) A dative embedded subject is ‘‘misplaced’’ (following instead of preceding its VP); (ii) it is thematically dependent on the embedded verb; (iii) it is case-licensed by the matrix causative verb.
39) Ghoin mo choinsias me´. ’ We can interpret these facts in the following way. Object experiencers in nonagentive psych constructions are universally oblique. In most languages, the preposition governing the experiencer is null (qC ). Irish is special in lexicalizing a whole paradigm of psych predicates where that preposition is overt (usually, ar, ‘on’). The ‘‘transitive’’ psych constructions are in fact transitive only in agentive contexts, whereas the nonagentive context involves a PP headed by qC (as in English).
The Locative Syntax of Experiencers (Linguistic Inquiry Monographs, 53) by Idan Landau