How complex are complex predicates?
Susi Wurmbrand
June 2006

This paper argues that clause union/restructuring constructions such as verb clusters in German do not involve head clustering in the form of (lexical or derived) complex head formation. I provide several arguments showing that clause union properties are licensed in the absence of complex head formation and that complex head formation hence cannot be seen as a condition on clause union/restructuring. Complex head approaches are compared to syntactic complementation approaches, in particular an approach where the verbs of a restructuring construction project independent VPs which include all the arguments associated with the particular verbs. A series of empirical facts are considered (constituency, word order, modification, and event structure properties) which all point to the conclusion that these constructions involve regular VPs rather than complex V-V heads. While it is not excluded that complex head approaches could be adjusted to accommodate theses facts, the main advantage of the VP-complementation approach is that the sum the properties discussed follows without additional assumptions from the structure suggested and that this approach also correctly predicts which constructions are excluded.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/000147
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: To appear in Syntax
keywords: complex predicates, extraposition, event structure, restructuring, verb clusters, vp-structure, infinitival nominalizations, syntax
previous versions: v1 [February 2005]
Downloaded:2478 times


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