Case Suspension and Binary Complement Structure in French by Julia Herschensohn

By Julia Herschensohn

Adopting the theoretical framework of the minimalist software, this examine of syntactic barriers on supplement configuration investigates the hyperlink among thematic exterior arguments and case. utilizing facts from pronominal, mental experiencer, and inalienable structures, it argues that either accusative and dative are structural situations in French and that this duality is mirrored in a parallel restrict on argument projection. Larson’s unmarried supplement speculation, which permits a greatest of 2 inner arguments, presents the theoretical justification for this notion. The trying out floor for the binary speculation is a gaggle of nonthematic topic buildings regarding undative in addition to unaccusative verbs, linking, based on Burzio’s generalization, case suspension and absence of an inner argument. The research of those structures and people concerning partitive case offers not just a theoretically major contribution to our knowing of grammar, but additionally a influenced reason behind a few empirical difficulties in French.

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Se fait écraser de nombreux chiens dans cette rue. "There are numerous dogs that are run over in this street". e IL se fait avorter très peu de femmes au Pérou. "There are few women who get abortions in Peru". 27 Since partitive is indistinguishable from accusative in these constructions, it must not be a distinct inherent Case. Other standard structural vs. 28 Another disadvantage of Belletti's treatment of partitive as inherent is that it cannot account for the partitive Case of other nonaccusative constructions.

There is no way to distinguish accusative from partitive Case in the context of normal transitive verbs. The only context where the difference is not neutralized is that of existential sentences. The term 'partitive' is used here only in the sense of Belletti (1988) with respect to Case marking. It overlaps with but is not equivalent to the term 'partitive' meaning part of a whole, quantified; this term may be applied to both definite and indefinite DPs (cf. Giusti 1991b, Lobeck 1993). Partitive Case in French, as it shows up in existential sentences, is always indicated by the indefinite, often accompanied by quantifiers.

Giusti 1991b, Lobeck 1993). Partitive Case in French, as it shows up in existential sentences, is always indicated by the indefinite, often accompanied by quantifiers. Indefinite determiners and quantifiers are always followed by de, either overt or covert. Partitive de is not overt with cardinal numbers and certain quantifiers, as, for example, in une pomme "an apple", plusieurs hommes "several men" or with pronominal en22 This lack of overt de with partitive is similar to dative à that 22 Quebec French does not include the overt de: (i) J'en ai pris une, pomme.

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