What unifies all these constructions is that the argument position of the VP remains unsaturated at the point in the derivation when the strong phase (Chomsky 2001) induced by the light verb v (Chomsky 1995, Kratzer 1996) sends off the VP for LF interpretation. Without RM, the VP contains an unsaturated argument position and the derivation runs afoul of the following condition.
All individual argument positions must be saturated at LF.
Reflexive morphology is present because it existentially closes (EC) the argument position of the verb, saturating the argument position of the verb within the VP and allowing the structure to comply with (1).
Without special morphology
Juan v VP sent off for LF interpretation: xe[confess(x)(e)]
This runs afoul of condition (1), since the individual argument position of the verb is not saturated.
Juan v ClP sent off for LF interpretation: ex[confess(x)(e)]
Because the individual argument position associated with the verb is saturated by existential closure, this structure is in compliance with (1).
Like the antipassive, there is no NP within VP; the NP that comes to saturate the individual argument position of the verb is located outside of VP, the external argument. Consequently, if the derivation adds the light verb v, the VP will be sent off for LF interpretation. Without the special morphology, there will be an unsaturated argument position. The clitic steps in to existentially close this argument position.
Juan v ClP sent off for LF interpretation: ex[loves(x)(e)]
PROBLEM: How can the external argument come to saturate the individual argument position introduced by the verb if it has already been saturated by existential closure?
SOLUTION: Two processes at work (1) existential disclosure and (2) argument identification. These processes are associated with the external argument introducing v head.
Existential Disclosure (DIS) (Dekker 1993, Rivero and Sheppard 2003): This removes the existential quantifier.
Argument Identification (AI): A generalization of Kratzer’s (1996) Event Identification.
In Kratzer’s approach, the light verb v is associated with a theta role predicate that introduces the external argument and an event argument. With Event Identification, the event argument introduced by the verb is identified as the same event argument introduced by the theta role predicate of vP. With Argument Identification, not only are the event arguments identified as the same, but also the individual arguments. Once Argument Identification occurs, the external argument in the specifier of vP can saturate the argument position of both the theta role predicate and the verb by functional application (FA).
Juan v ClP
EXP Cl VP
a. [VP ama ] xe[love(x)(e)]
b. [ClP se [VP ama ] ] ] ] ex[love(x)(e)]
c. [vP v [ClP se [VP ama ] ] ] ] i. DIS(ex[love(x)(e)]) x e[love(x)(e)]
ii. AI(ye[experiencer(y)(e)], xe[love(x)(e)])
ye([experiencer(y)(e) & love(y)(e)] )
[vP Juan [v [ClP se [VP ama ] ] ] ] FA(ye([experiencer(y)(e)&love(y)(e)]))(Juan)
e([experiencer(Juan)(e) & love(Juan)(e)]
Borrowing from Alexiadou and Anagnostopoulou (2004), I consider that the anticausative structure involves a functional projection that combines with and stativizes a vP that carries no agentivity features, generating its target state (Kratzer 2000).
However, I depart from Alexiadou and Anagnostopoulou (2004) in two ways. First, I consider that the NP that saturates the individual argument position of the verb is introduced not within the VP but within the stativizing functional projection. Because there is no NP within VP, special morphology is needed to existentially close the argument position introduced by the verb. Later, the v head can disclose this argument position. Second, this stativizing functional projection combines with another light verb v that introduces an inchoative operator ([fient], following Embick (2004)).
fient NP F’
el vaso F vP
a. [RoootP rompio ] xs[broken(x)(s)]
b. [ClP se [RootP rompio ] ] ] ] sx[broken(x)(s)]
c. [v [ClP se [RootP rompio ] ] ] ] i. DIS(sx[broken(x)(e)]) x e[broken(x)(e)]
ii. xse[cause(s)(e) & broken(x)(s)]
d. [FPresult [v [ClP se [VP rompio ] ] ] ] xse[cause(s)(e) & broken(x)(s)]
[FP el vaso [F’result [vPv [ClP se [VP rompio ] ] ] ] ]
FA(xse[cause(s)(e) & broken(x)(s)])(el vaso)
se[cause(s)(e) & broken(el vaso)(s)]
[vP fient [FP el vaso [F’result [vPv [ClP se [VP rompio ] ] ] ] ] ]
This analysis supports a phase-based view of derivations and the cyclic interpretation for the structures built. If the entire structure were sent for interpretation, there would be no unsaturated argument position and no need for special morphology. This analysis is able to capture the essential insight of Lidz (1996) without the need for a separate level of argument structure.
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