Case Suspension and Binary Complement Structure in French
Adopting the theoretical framework of the minimalist program, this study of syntactic limitations on complement configuration investigates the link between thematic external arguments and case. Using evidence from pronominal, psychological experiencer, and inalienable constructions, it argues that both accusative and dative are structural cases in French and that this duality is reflected in a parallel limit on argument projection. Larson's single complement hypothesis, which allows a maximum of two internal arguments, provides the theoretical justification for this proposal. The testing ground for the binary hypothesis is a group of nonthematic subject constructions involving undative as well as unaccusative verbs, linking, according to Burzio's generalization, case suspension and lack of an internal argument. The investigation of these constructions and those involving partitive case provides not only a theoretically significant contribution to our understanding of grammar, but also a motivated explanation for a number of empirical problems in French.
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CHAPTER 1 MINIMALIST SYNTACTIC REPRESENTATION
CHAPTER 2 CASE AND ARGUMENT STRUCTURE
CHAPTER 3 UNACCUSATIVE VERBS AND AFFECTED DATIVES
CHAPTER 4 CASE DEFECTIVE PSYCH VERBS
CHAPTER 5 CASE SUSPENDING PRONOMINALS
CHAPTER 6 INALIENABLE UNDATIVES
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absorbs affected datives agreement nodes Agro Agro3 amuser les enfants analysis anaphors argues argument position argument projection argument structure assign accusative Belletti binary limit binding Burzio's c-command Chapter checked Chomsky class of verbs configuration D-structure dative clitics definite dethematized diagnostics direct object discussion embedded experiencer expletive fait French grammar Grimshaw impersonal indirect inherent interpretation intransitive Jean Kayne lack language Larsonian levé lever lexical datives linguistic linked manquer Marc Marie marked minimalist program morphological movement nonthematic external argument nonthematic subject number of internal passive past participle agreement Paul Pesetsky Pierre possessive determiner possessor predicted preposition principles principles and parameters pronoun proposal psych verbs Ruwet s'est second internal argument Section semantic Someone Spec Agro2 Spec Agrs Spec of VP2 Spec VP2 subcategorization frame subcategorized subject position superficial subject suspended syntactic syntax thematic external argument theme theoretical theory theta role transitive verbs unaccusative verbs unergatives ungrammatical X-bar theory