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Studies in Formal Linguistics

Universal Patterns and Language Specific Parameters


Edited By Anna Bloch-Rozmej and Anna Bondaruk

This book investigates the nature and consequences of universal principles in four major grammar components, i.e. syntax, phonology, morphology and semantics. Language specific parameters are held responsible for the attested variation. The papers collected in this book analyse selected phenomena from English, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, and Polish, and shed new light on the interaction of universals and parameters in the structure of individual language systems. The generative framework is adopted as the theoretical model in the majority of contributions.

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Chapter 4 On Nominalization: Genitives, Datives, and Elementary Predicates in Italian (Ludovico Franco)


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Ludovico Franco

CLUNL/FCSH/Universidade Nova de Lisboa

Chapter 4 On Nominalization: Genitives, Datives, and Elementary Predicates in Italian*

Abstract: In this paper, focussing on Italian data, we show that nominalization processes involving an external and an internal argument of a deverbal nominal can be reduced to a syntactic template that introduces core participants, namely the external and the internal argument, via a sort of double oblique construction. We claim that all ‘thematic’ PPs, as well as relational PPs (see also Fábregas, 2007, Moreno Marchis 2010), are uniformly linked/adjoined to the eventive noun, canonically assuming DP to be the highest functional projection dominating the whole noun phrase. We assume that the unavailability of transitivizing/aspectual projections along the nominal spine means that arguments can only be added to the NP predicate (i.e. a nominalized event, cf. Higginbotham, 1985; Williams 1994) via an oblique relator. We will assume that genitives, datives, and the other oblique relators employed in nominalization processes correspond to part–whole relational predicates in terms of the model of case discussed in recent work by Manzini and Savoia (2011), Manzini et al. (2015), Manzini and Franco (2016), Franco and Manzini (2017). So a ‘possessor’ (genitive, dative) is essentially a ‘whole’ including a ‘part’ (the possessee). This applies between entities and between entities and events/states. Evidently, this implies that we reject treatments of genitive as a structural case (e.g. Alexiadou 2001, Siloni 1997).

Keywords: nominalization, genitive, dative, predication, adposition

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