Transitivity and self-caused readings in Spanish deverbal nouns

Title: Transitivity and self-caused readings in Spanish deverbal nouns
Source document: Linguistica Brunensia. 2017, vol. 65, iss. 1, pp. 21-36
  • ISSN
    1803-7410 (print)
    2336-4440 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license

Notice: These citations are automatically created and might not follow citation rules properly.

This paper examines the structural properties underlying the distribution and interpretation of two types of deverbal nouns in Spanish: miento nominals (e.g. hundimiento 'the sinking') and do/da nominals (e.g. secado 'the drying'); the first may combine with unaccusatives and verbs that enter the causative alternation, targeting the anticausative reading. By contrast, the latter type may select unergatives and the so-called incremental theme verbs, yielding a causative reading. Based on empirical evidence, I argue that the distributional and interpretive differences observed follow from the fact that these nominalizers are sensitive to different syntactic configurations in the event domain: building on Ramchand's decompositional analysis, I propose that the event structure of do/da nominals identifies a sequence [initi, proci], where subjects are interpreted as thematic Actors, and I show how this correlates with the absence of miento and the impossibility of reflexive readings (e.g. lavado 'the washing *of oneself /*by itself').
This work has been supported by the Research Group HiTT (Basque Government, IT769-13).
[1] Borer, Hagit. 2003. Exo-skeletal vs. endo-skeletal explanations: syntactic projections and the lexicon. In Moore, John ‒ Polinsky, Maria, eds., The nature of explanation in linguistic theory. Chicago: CSLI, pp. 31-67.

[2] Caha, Pavel. 2009. The Nanosyntax of Case. Ph.D. thesis, University of Tromsø.

[3] Chierchia, Gennaro. 2004. A semantics for unaccusatives and its syntactic consequences. In Alexiadou, Artemis et al., eds., The Unaccusativity Puzzle: Explorations of the Syntax-Lexicon Interface, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 22–59.

[4] Dékány, Éva. 2012. A profile of the Hungarian DP. The interaction of lexicalization, agreement and linearization with the functional sequence. Ph.D. thesis, University of Tromsø.

[5] Fábregas, Antonio. 2007. The exhaustive lexicalization principle. Nordlyd 34, pp. 165–199.

[6] Fábregas, Antonio. 2014. Phrasal spell out: an argument from haplology. Linguistic Analysis 39(1-2), pp. 83–125.

[7] Fábregas, Antonio. 2016. Las nominalizaciones: la relación entre el léxico y la sintaxis. Madrid: Visor.

[8] Folli, Rafaella ‒ Harley, Heidi. 2008. Teleology and animacy in external arguments. Lingua 118(2), pp. 190–202. | DOI 10.1016/j.lingua.2007.02.004

[9] Hale, Kenneth – Keyser Samuel J., eds. 1993. The View from Building 20: Essays in Linguistics in Honor of Sylvain Bromberger. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

[10] Hale, Kenneth – Keyser, Samuel J. 1993. On argument structure and the lexical expression of syntactic relations. In Hale, Kenneth – Keyser Samuel J., eds. 1993, pp. 53–109.

[11] Halle, Morris – Marantz, Alec. 1993. Distributed Morphology and the Pieces of Inflection. In Hale, Kenneth – Keyser Samuel J., eds. 1993, pp. 111–176.

[12] Levin, Beth – Rappaport Hovav, Malka. 1995. Unaccusativity: At the Syntax-Lexical Semantics Interface. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

[13] Levin, Beth. 1993. English Verb Classes and Alternations: A Preliminary Investigation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press

[14] Lieber, Rochelle. 1980. On the organization of the Lexicon. Ph.D. thesis. MIT.

[15] Lundquist, Bjørn. 2008. Nominalizations and participles in Swedish. Ph.D. thesis. University of Tromsø.

[16] Lundquist, Bjørn. 2009. Restrictions on reflexive and anti-causative readings in nominalizations and participles. Nordlyd 38, 1–44.

[17] Muriungi, Peter Kinyua. 2008. Phrasal movement inside Bantu verbs. Ph.D. thesis. University of Tromsø.

[18] Pantcheva, Marina. 2011. Decomposing path: The nanosyntax of directional expressions. Ph.D. thesis. University of Tromsø.

[19] Pesetsky, David. 1995. Zero Syntax: Experiencers and Cascades. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

[20] Piñón, Christopher. 2001. A finer look at the causative-inchoative alternation. In Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory 11. Ithaca: CLC Publications, pp. 346–64.

[21] Ramchand, Gillian. 2008. Verb meaning and the lexicon. First phase syntax. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[22] Ramchand, Gillian. 2013. The Event Domain. Assessment for the Little v conference. Leiden.

[23] Reinhart, Tanya. 2002. The theta system: An overview. Theoretical Linguistics 28, pp. 229–90.

[24] Schäfer, Florian. 2009. The Causative Alternation. In Language and Linguistics Compass 3.2, pp. 641–681.

[25] Starke, Michal. 2009. Nanosyntax: a short prime to a new approach to language. Norlyd 36(1), pp. 1–6.