Selecting roots: the view from compounding
Dimitris Michelioudakis, Nikos Angelopoulos
August 2018

We investigate how saturation of different theta-roles by the non-head constituent correlates with derivational suffixes and, in turn, with the event structures compatible with those suffixes. We also investigate XP realisations of themes, causers and instruments in deverbal nominal and participial constructions and which ┬▒agentive and/or ┬▒process/episodic sub-readings allow which type of argument. It turns out that for each theta-role, the contexts that allow an XP realisation are exactly the complement of the contexts that would allow compounding of that same theta-role. We take this complementarity to be an indirect argument in favour of (i) divorcing argument licensing from argument selection and (ii) dissociating argument introduction from event-structure-related heads, which then potentially reaffirms the role of roots in (first phase) syntax.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004129
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: to appear in The Linguistic Review
keywords: compounding, argument selection, argument licensing, roots, morphology, syntax
previous versions: v1 [July 2018]
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