|Words by default: optimizing constraints and the Persian complex predicate
|13 pages. This paper appeared in the Berkeley Linguistic Society Proceedings, 1996
|Words by default:
optimizing constraints and the Persian complex predicate
Complex predicates (CPs) are predicates which act in some
way as a single word, and in another way like more than one word.
Persian (Farsi) has many such complex predicates that
consist of a non-verbal element, the host,
followed by a light verb. These CPs are of interest because
they display both lexical and phrasal properties.
This paper offers an account in which the Persian CP is treated
as a construction represented in the lexicon. It is argued that
its expression as a simple word or as a phrasal entity is
determined by the interaction of a set typologically natural
ranked constraints. An outcome of this analysis is that
the categorial status of the CP can be viewed as a simple verb
by default. V0 status is motivated by the CPs lexical
properties. It entails that the host and light verb be
unseparated and that they may undergo derivational processes.
The V0 status is a default in the sense that it can be
overridden if and only if there is a competing higher ranked