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EALing 2006

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(Anti-)causative alternations 3/4
Artemis Alexiadou (univ. Stuttgart)

25 septembre 2006

The cross-linguistic study of the causative-anticausative alternation provides us with at least two important empirical observations:
I) While the core of verbs that undergo the causative alternation is stable across languages, there is also interesting variation. For instance, anti-causativization seems to be a restricted process in languages like English, while others, e.g. Greek and Hindi freely form anticausatives. Moreover, the reverse pattern is also found, e.g. causatives of verbs of appearance are possible in Japanese but not in English.
II) Languages show substantial variation in the morphological marking of the alternation (see Haspelmath 1993): in many languages the anticausative and not the causative variant of the alternation is marked by special morphology, other languages mark the causative variant of the alternation and there are also languages with non-directed alternations. In this course, we will deal with the above issues by adopting a non-derivational approach to the alternation. According to this, change of state verbs are generally decomposed into at least three layers of structure, a Voice, an eventive v component and a Root-phrase. We will first provide evidence for this decomposition. We will then address the question to what extent systematic patterns can be found across languages, how they correlate with the specific syntactic structures available for the alternation, how they are derived and what the relevant parametric options are that lead to the diverse empirical picture found..
Prerequisites: Basic knowledge in syntax (an introduction to syntax course)

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Artemis Alexiadou Artemis Alexiadou (univ. Stuttgart)
Prof. Institute of English Linguistics, University of Stuttgart