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Introducing Arguments$
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Liina Pylkkänen

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262162548

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262162548.001.0001

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(p.11) Chapter 2 Applicatives
Introducing Arguments

Liina Pylkkänen

The MIT Press

Studies on the syntax of applicative constructions have shown that, in some applicatives, both the direct object and the indirect object exhibit object properties, while in others, only the applied argument does. This chapter shows that applicative constructions divide into two types semantically: High and low. In a high applicative, the applicative head denotes a thematic relation between an individual and the event described by the verb. In a low applicative, the head combines with the direct object and denotes a transfer-of-possession relation between the direct object and the applied argument. This proposal accounts naturally for various applicative asymmetries, including new data on the combinatorics of secondary predication with the two types of applicatives. Low applicatives come in two varieties: One describes a recipient relation between the indirect and direct objects; and the other, a source relation. So-called adversity constructions, which otherwise constitute a puzzling syntax–semantics mismatch, are in fact ordinary double object constructions except that they exemplify the source variety of the low applicative.

Keywords:   syntax, applicative constructions, high applicative, low applicative, direct object, applied argument

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