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Title:Complex predication and parallel structures in optimality-theoretic syntax
Authors:George Aaron Broadwell
Comment:Handout from a talk given at the 7th Workshop on Optimality Theory Syntax in Nijmegen, Netherlands
Abstract: In a number of languages, complex predicates show evidence for two or more distinct constituent structures. For example, McKay’s (1985) treatment of German and Goodall’s (1987) treatment of French and Spanish argue that the behavior of causatives in these languages is best treated by positing two phrase structure representations – one monoclausal and one biclausal. Similarly, Butt’s (1995) treatment of the Urdu instructive and permissive posits two syntactic structures – one in which the permissive/instructive matrix verb and verbal noun form a c-structure V’ constituent, and one in which the verbal noun heads a distinct phrase.
This paper will pursue a more general account of parallel syntactic structures and complex predicates. Using Optimality-Theoretic Lexical-Functional Grammar (Bresnan 2000), I will argue that these cases involve predicates where two constituent structures emerge as equally optimal under the relevant constraint evaluation. These structures exist in parallel to each other, recalling Goodall’s (1987) more general approach to parallel structures in syntax.
Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Version 1