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|Title:||On the complex eventive structure of dispositional middle constructions|
|Department:||Cognitive Science of Language|
|Abstract:||This thesis is concerned with the syntactic and semantic properties of a dispositional middle construction. Building on new empirical observations, I argue for a novel derivational account of the middle construction, namely that it has a complex eventive structure. This proposal contrasts with existing analyses that can be divided into syntactically uniform approaches and semantically uniform approaches. Crucially, existing analyses have failed to address the fact that only transitive activity and accomplishment verbs undergo middle formation. I use this observation to argue that an eventive cause, or a CAUSE head, is a defining structural feature of a middle construction. Furthermore, I argue that the middle construction does not project the understood agent in syntax and the understood theme is base-generated in the internal argument position. The desired surface structure arises via movement of the understood theme, which creates a linearizable structure. The complex eventive structure argued for in this thesis not only captures the syntactic properties of a middle construction, but it also serves as the source of a dispositional interpretation, which is one of the characteristic properties of a middle construction.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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