Middle Voice: A Comparative Study in the Syntax-semantics Interface of German
This book offers a completely new analysis of the syntax and semantics of transitive reflexive sentences in German, which is embedded in the major phenomenon of the middle voice in Indo-European languages. It integrates the interpretation of non-argument reflexives into a modified version of recent theories of binding. The ambiguity of the reflexive pronoun is derived at the interface between syntax and semantics and does not rely on additional lexical or syntactic rules of argument suppression and argument promotion. This shift towards the semantic interpretation of syntactic arguments enables the author to offer a unified analysis of the middle, the anticausative and the reflexive interpretations. Furthermore, the crucial distinction between structural and oblique case forms is discussed and it is illustrated how specific properties of middle constructions such as adverbial modification or subject responsibility can be related to the generic interpretation of middle constructions.
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Table of contents
Middle constructions and middle voice
Lexical and syntactic approaches to middle formation
The interpretation of reflexive pronouns in German
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accusative object accusative reflexive pronoun adjunct middles adverbial modification ambiguity analysis anaphor anticausative verb argue argument reflexive argument variable assigned Batak binding theory bound Buch Chapter clause clitic complex A-chain constructions in German corresponding dative objects dative reflexive pronouns derived discussion door opens Dutch English example external argument Fagan flexive free morpheme grammatical Hence illustrated impersonal middle constructions impersonal subject implicit argument Indo-European languages intransitive Italian leicht lexical linked logophoric Maria Middle High German middle interpretation middle marker middle voice morphological morphosyntactic nominative non-argument reflexive passive personal pronouns Peter pronominal pronoun in object pronouns in German properties REFL reflexive interpretation reflexive marker reflexive verbs rp-acc second argument Section semantic argument specified Steinbach strong reflexive pronouns structural and oblique syntactic arguments syntactic subject syntax thematic roles tion transitive reflexive sentences unaccusative unaccusative verbs unergatives ungrammatical unmarked valency reduction verkauft washes weak reflexive pronoun word order