Possessor-Raising and Figure-Raising Constructions in Persian: a Distributed Morphology Analysis

Document Type : Research Paper

Author

Academic Member / Islamic Azad University, Ardabil. Iran

Abstract

In Persian, much research focuses on the syntax-morphology interface in DM, but research on the syntax-semantics interface is generally absent from DM literature. The aim of this study is to account for possessor raising and figure raising constructions in Persian which demands the review of the distinction between possessor and figure as thematic roles in double object and ditransitive constructions based on Wood and Marantz (2017). By the former, we mean the double object and to-dative expression of transfer of possession and by the latter, we mean ditransitive predicates that select for a locatume argument and a location argument. If i* combines with DP, it projects a D*P and takes a DP specifier. If i* combines with pP, it projects a p*P and takes a DP specifier. Semantically i* assigns to the DP specifier the theta-role of possessor and figure respectively. They involve one structure, varying in terms of what vP takes as a complement. The thematic interpretation is derived by interpretive rules defined on the syntactic structure and is constrained by “Full Interpretation”. Therefore, the syntactic properties are derived from structural environment and conceptual content of roots. We dealt with possessor raising and figure raising in this paper. Possessor raising generates two other kinds of thematic dependencies, including clausal possession and change-of-state vPs. Figure raising requires the considerations of natural reflexive vPs in ditransitive constructions and their corresponding inchoatives. The interpretation of an external argument depends on a theta-role introduced somewhere lower in the structure. Figure raising involves an external argument that bears a figure role introduced inside a lower pP; clausal possession involves an external or applied argument bearing a possessor role introduced inside a lower DP. This also requires the consideration of change-of-state semantics. The basic structure of a change-of-state vPs involves one v head which takes a DP complement. Possessor raising construction combines properties of both clausal possession and change-of-state semantics.

Highlights

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Wood, J. & A. Marantz (2017). The Interpretation of External Arguments. The Verbal Domain. Print ISBN-13: 97801987678

Keywords


Acedo-Matellan, V. & J. Mateu (2013). Satellite-framed Latin vs. verb-framed Romance: a syntactic approach, Probus 25, 227-265
Beavers, J., E. Ponvert & S. Wechsler. (2009). Possession of controlled substanrives: Light ‘have’ and other verbs of possession. MS, UT Austin 
Bruening, B. (2010). Double object constructions disguised as prepositional datives. Linguistic Inquiry 41(2). 287–305.
Cuervo, M. C. (2003). Datives at Large. Cambridge, MA:  MIT Doctoral dissertation.
Gruber, J.S. (1979). Lexical Structure inSyntax and Semantics, North-Holland, Amsterdam.
Hale, K. & Keyser, S.J. (1993). On argument structure and the lexical representation of syntactic relations. In The View from Building 20, Essays in linguistics in honor of Sylvain Bromberger, K. Hale & S.J. Keyser (eds), 53–109. Cambridge MA: The MIT Press.
Harley, H. & S. Miyagawa (2018) Syntax of Ditransitive. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Linguistics.
Jackendoff, R. (1972). Semantic Interpretation in Generative Grammar, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. 
Karimi, S. (2005). A Minimalist Approach to Scrambling: Evidence from Persian. Berlin: Mouten de Gruyter.
Larson, RK. (1988). On the double object construction. Linguist. Inq.19: 335-92
Lasnik, H. (1981). Restricting the theory of transformations: A case study. In N. Herrnstein and D. Lightfoot, (eds) Explanations in Linguistics: London
Myler, N. (2018). Complex copula systems as suppletive allomorphy. Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 3(1)
Oblishevska, O. (2005). Locative Alternation in Slavic. University of Ottawa. 
Pinker, S. (1989). Learnability and cognition: The acquisition of argument structure. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Pylkkänen, L. (2008).  Introducing Arguments. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press
Rappaport, H. & B. Levin (2008). The English dative alternation: the case for verb sensitivity. J. Linguist. 44: 129-67
Wood, J. & A. Marantz (2017). The Interpretation of External Arguments. The Verbal Domain. Print ISBN-13: 97801987678
Volume 12, Issue 2
December 2022
Pages 101-122
  • Receive Date: 05 August 2021
  • Revise Date: 02 May 2022
  • Accept Date: 11 October 2021
  • First Publish Date: 11 October 2021