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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 12 Subjects or not Subjects: Polish Dative Experiencers and Adjunct Control (Sylwiusz Żychliński)


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Sylwiusz Żychliński

Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań

Chapter 12 Subjects or not Subjects: Polish Dative Experiencers and Adjunct Control

Abstract: The aim of this article is to provide a thorough analysis of Polish Dative experiencers with regard to their syntactic status. The syntactic analysis of these arguments in Polish is far from straightforward, with at least some evidence suggesting their subject-like status (cf. Bondaruk and Szymanek 2007; for similar claims in other languages cf. Landau 2010). The claim made in this article is that Dative experiencers in Polish do not behave like subjects except for one empirical domain, i.e. adjunct control. This line of argumentation has not been researched extensively in Polish. One of the hallmark properties of canonical subjects is that they are co-referent with implicit subjects of participial clauses. This familiar prescriptive rule is known in Polish as the identity of subjects and it requires that no other element than the Nominative Agent subject of a sentence in the active voice can control into (or be semantically identical to) the participial clause. Although evidence to the contrary can be adduced in Polish which shows that the strict application of the rule is untenable (cf. Bojałkowska and Saloni 2008), the author’s main focus is on a more nuanced study of the behaviour of Dative experiencers in the broader adjunct control context. Results of a preliminary acceptability survey are discussed which show that despite the prescriptively ungrammatical status of non-canonical...

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