The articulated Voice/v layer in Tamil
Sandhya Sundaresan, Thomas McFadden
January 2016

This paper contributes to the ongoing discussion of the proper analysis of the clausal region immediately above the verb, by arguing that we need to recognize not just one or two functional heads, but a full layer of structure corresponding to Kratzer (1996)’s Voice or Chomsky (1995)’s v. This layer should include at least four functional heads arrayed above the root as shown below: Pass > Mid > Trans > Cause > √ The primary evidence for these proposals comes from the Dravidian language Tamil, which is extremely informative due to its highly inflecting, agglutinative nature, and its flexibility in combining together distinct elements traditionally subsumed under the heading of ‘voice’. Employing standard Mirror Principle reasoning, we can use the sequences of verbal suffixes that the language supplies to argue not only for an inventory of syntactic heads, but also for a specific hierarchy, due to the rigid ordering restrictions observed.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/002355
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: To Appear in: The Verbal Domain (Eds. d'Alessandro, Franco and Gallego), Oxford University Press
keywords: little v, kratzerian voice, transitivity, causativity, middles, passives, reflexives, functional sequence (fseq), cartography, tamil, syntax, phonology, semantics, morphology
previous versions: v2 [August 2015]
v1 [January 2015]
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