Passive By-Phrases in Greek and English: Adjuncts or Arguments?
Nikos Angelopoulos, Chris Collins, Arhonto Terzi
September 2020

This paper proposes an analysis in which passive by-phrases are merged as the arguments of the active with the corresponding theta roles (D'Hulst 1992; Goodall 1997, 1999; Hasegawa 1988; Mahajan 1994; Caha 2009; Collins 2018a; Roberts 2019; Karlík 2020 and Hallman 2020). This analysis finds support in new data from Greek and English showing that just like the DP arguments of the active, by-phrases bear the same range of theta roles and can bind a non-logophoric reflexive. On the other hand, it is shown that PPs with non-argument theta-roles, that is, adjunct PPs, cannot. In light of these findings, the paper reaches a number of independent conclusions such as that VoiceP, the projection responsible for the distinct morphological realization of the different Voice phenomena, does not introduce the external argument (Collins 2005; Merchant 2013; Manzini et al. 2016; Ramchand 2017; Roberts 2019; Zyman and Kalivoda 2020; Newman 2020). Furthermore, in light of the new data presented here, the paper discusses reasons for which the following proposals cannot be maintained: that the Greek and English passive are formed in a different manner, or with different Voice heads (Alexiadou and Doron 2012i.a.), that by-phrases are merged as adjuncts (Bruening 2013; Legate 2014; Alexiadou et al. 2015 i.a.) or that Greek by-phrases systematically exhibit distinct behavior from the corresponding DP arguments of the active (Alexiadou et al. 2015). Lastly, it is argued that the rules of semantic composition, if applied as in Heim and Kratzer (1998) and Bruening (2013), make available more ways in which arguments can be merged than those which are actually attested. The paper suggests that the rules in question must be constrained by independent principles, such as Chomsky’s (1981, 1986) Theta Criterion.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004208
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Glossa
keywords: passive, by-phrase, adjuncts, arguments, reflexives, non-exempt reflexive, greek, english, syntax
previous versions: v5 [September 2020]
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