Advertisement

Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 261–320 | Cite as

Reciprocal verbs and symmetry

  • Tal SiloniEmail author
Article

Abstract

The paper shows that in addition to periphrastic reciprocal constructions and lexical reciprocal verbs, there is a third type—found in Romance and certain Slavic languages—whose reciprocity is not periphrastic but nonetheless composed only in the course of the syntactic derivation. Examining a sample of ten languages, the study reveals and derives the syntactic and semantic properties of these syntactic reciprocal verbs in comparison with their lexical counterparts. It further formulates the precise mechanisms forming the two types. Among other things, the paper devotes considerable attention to the notion “symmetric verb,” to the so-called “I” reading of embedded reciprocal clauses, and to a particular reciprocal construction that denotes reciprocity between two discontinuous phrases.

Keywords

Lexical reciprocal verb Syntactic reciprocal verb Symmetric verb “I” reading Discontinuous construction Lexicon Lex-syn parameter 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Alsina, Alex. 1996. The role of argument structure in grammar. In CSLI lecture notes, 62. Stanford: CSLI Publications. Google Scholar
  2. Ariel, Mira. 2006. The making of a construction: From reflexive marking to lower transitivity. Manuscript, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel. Google Scholar
  3. Artstein, Ron. 1997. Group events as means for representing collectivity. In MIT working papers in linguistics 31: Proceedings of the eighth student conference in linguistics, ed. Benjamin Bruening, 41–51. Cambridge: MITWPL. Google Scholar
  4. Beck, Sigrid. 2001. Reciprocals are definites. Natural Language Semantics 9: 69–138. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Borer, Hagit. 1984. Parametric syntax. Dordrecht: Foris. Google Scholar
  6. Borer, Hagit, and Yosef Grodzinsky. 1986. Syntactic vs. lexical cliticization: The case of Hebrew dative clitics. In The syntax of pronominal clitics, ed. Hagit Borer, 175–217. San Francisco: Academic Press. Google Scholar
  7. Bošković, Željko. 1994. D-structure, θ-criterion, and movement into θ-positions. Linguistic Analysis 24: 264–286. Google Scholar
  8. Bošković, Željko. 2002. A-movement and the EPP. Syntax 5: 167–218. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bresnan, Joan. 1982. The passive in lexical theory. In The mental representation of grammatical relations, ed. Joan Bresnan, 3–86. Cambridge: MIT Press. Google Scholar
  10. Burzio, Luigi. 1986. Italian syntax: A government-binding approach. Dordrecht: Reidel. Google Scholar
  11. Carlson, Greg. 1998. Thematic roles and the individuation of events. In Events and grammar, ed. Susan Rothstein, 35–51. Dordrecht: Kluwer. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chierchia, Gennaro. 2004. A semantics for unaccusatives and its syntactic consequences. In The unaccusativity puzzle, eds. Artemis Alexiadou, Elena Anagnostopoulou, and Martin Everaert, 288–331. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Google Scholar
  13. Chierchia, Gennaro, and Sally McConnell-Ginet. 1990. Meaning and grammar. Cambridge: MIT Press. Google Scholar
  14. Chomsky, Noam. 1981. Lectures on government and binding. Dordrecht: Foris. Google Scholar
  15. Chomsky, Noam. 1986. Knowledge of language: Its nature, origin and use. New York: Praeger. Google Scholar
  16. Chomsky, Noam. 1995. The minimalist program. Cambridge: MIT Press. Google Scholar
  17. Chomsky, Noam. 2001. Derivation by phase. In Ken Hale: A life in language, ed. Michael Kenstowicz, 1–52. Cambridge: MIT Press. Google Scholar
  18. Cinque, Guglielmo. 1988. On si constructions and the theory of arb. Linguistic Inquiry 19: 521–581. Google Scholar
  19. Cinque, Guglielmo. 2002. “Restructuring” and functional structure. Manuscript, University of Venice, Venice, Italy. Google Scholar
  20. Dimitriadis, Alexis. 2000. Beyond identity: Topics in pronominal and reciprocal anaphora. PhD dissertation, University of Pennsylvania. Google Scholar
  21. Dimitriadis, Alexis. 2004. Discontinuous reciprocals. Manuscript, Utrecht Institute of Linguistics, Utrecht, The Netherlands. Google Scholar
  22. Dimitriadis, Alexis. 2008a. Irreducible symmetry in reciprocal constructions. In Reciprocals and reflexives: Cross-linguistic and theoretical explorations, eds. Ekkehard König and Volker Gast, 375–410. Berlin: De Gruyter. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Dimitriadis, Alexis. 2008b. The event structure of irreducibly symmetric reciprocals. In Event structures in linguistic form and interpretation, eds. Johannes Dolling and Tatjana Heyde-Zybatow, Berlin: De Gruyter. Google Scholar
  24. Dowty, David. 1991. Thematic proto-roles and argument selection. Language 67: 547–619. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Fadlon, Julie. 2008. The psychological reality of hidden entries. MA thesis, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel. Google Scholar
  26. Fassi Fehri, Abdelkader. 1993. Issues in the structure of Arabic clauses and words. Dordrecht: Kluwer. Google Scholar
  27. Frajzyngier, Zygmunt. 1999. Coding the reciprocal function: Two solutions. In Reciprocals: Forms and function (Typological studies in language 41), eds. Zygmunt Frajzyngier and Traci S. Curl, 179–194. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Google Scholar
  28. Frajzyngier, Zygmunt, and Traci S. Curl, eds. 1999. Reciprocals: Forms and function (Typological studies in language 41). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Google Scholar
  29. Gast, Volker, and Florian Haas. 2008. On Reciprocal and Reflexive uses of anaphors in German and other European languages. In Reciprocals and reflexives: Cross-linguistic and 3 theoretical explorations, eds. Ekkehard König and Volker Gast, 307–346. Berlin: De Gruyter. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Gleitman, Lila. 1965. Coordinating conjunctions in English. Language 41: 260–293. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Grimshaw, Jane. 1982. On the lexical representation of Romance reflexive clitics. In The mental representation of grammatical relations, ed. Joan Bresnan, 87–148. Cambridge: MIT Press. Google Scholar
  32. Haspelmath, Martin. 1990. The grammaticalization of passive morphology. Studies in Language 14: 25–72. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Heim, Irene, Howard Lasnik, and Robert May. 1991a. Reciprocity and plurality. Linguistic Inquiry 22: 63–101. Google Scholar
  34. Heim, Irene, Howard Lasnik, and Robert May. 1991b. On “Reciprocal scope”. Linguistic Inquiry 22: 173–192. Google Scholar
  35. Higginbotham, James. 1980. Reciprocal interpretation. Journal of Linguistic Research 1: 97–117. Google Scholar
  36. Higginbotham, James. 1985. On semantics. Linguistic Inquiry 16: 547–593. Google Scholar
  37. Higginbotham, James. 1989. Elucidations of meaning. Linguistics and Philosophy 12: 465–517. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Horvath, Julia, and Tal Siloni. 2008. Active lexicon: Adjectival and verbal passives. In Generative approaches to Hebrew linguistics, eds. Sharon Armon-Lotem, Gabi Danon, and Susan Rothstein, 288–331. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Google Scholar
  39. Hron, David. 2005. On the derivation of Czech reflexive and reciprocal nouns. MA thesis, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel. Google Scholar
  40. Hron, David. 2011. Arity operations: Domain of application – A comparative study of Slavic languages. PhD dissertation, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel. Google Scholar
  41. Hurst, Peter. 2006. The syntax of the Malagasy reciprocal construction: An LFG account. In Proceedings of the LFG 06 conference, eds. Miriam Butt, and Tracy Holloway King. www.peterhurst.com/research/lfg_2006_hurst.pdf. Google Scholar
  42. Kayne, Richard. 1975. French syntax: The transformational cycle. Cambridge: MIT Press. Google Scholar
  43. Keenan, Edward, and Jean-Paulin Razafimamonjy. 2001. Reciprocals in Malagasy. In UCLA working papers in linguistics: Papers in African linguistics 1, ed. Harold Torrence, 40–89. Los Angeles: UCLA WPL. Google Scholar
  44. Kemmer, Suzanne. 1993. The middle voice (Typological studies in language 23). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Google Scholar
  45. Kim, Yookyung, and Stanley Peters. 1998. Semantic and pragmatic context-dependence: The case of reciprocals. In Is the best good enough? eds. Pilar Barbosa, Danny Fox, Paul Hagstrom, Martha McGinnis, and David Pesetsky, 221–248. Cambridge: MIT Press. Google Scholar
  46. Komlósy, András. 1994. Complements and adjuncts. In The syntactic structure of Hungarian (syntax and semantics 27), eds. Ferenc Kiefer and Katalin É. Kiss, 91–178. San Diego: Academic Press. Google Scholar
  47. König, Ekkehard, and Volker Gast, eds. 2008. Reciprocals and reflexives: Cross-linguistic and theoretical explorations. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Google Scholar
  48. Krifka, Manfred. 1992. A compositional semantics for multiple focus constructions. In Informationsstruktur und Grammatik, ed. Joachim Jacobs, 17–53. Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag. Google Scholar
  49. Krifka, Manfred. 1998. The origins of telicity. In Events and grammar, ed. Susan Rothstein, 197–235. Dordrecht: Kluwer. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Landman, Fred. 1989. Groups I. Linguistics and Philosophy 12: 559–605. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Landman, Fred. 2000. Events and plurality. Dordrecht: Kluwer. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Langendoen, D. Terence. 1978. The logic of reciprocity. Linguistic Inquiry 9: 177–197. Google Scholar
  53. Langendoen, D. Terence. 1992. Symmetric relations. In The joy of grammar, eds. Diane Brentari, Gary N. Larson, and Lynn A. MacLeod, 199–212. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Google Scholar
  54. Langendoen, D. Terence, and Joël Magloire. 2003. The logic of reflexivity and reciprocity. In Anaphora: A reference guide, ed. Andrew Barss, 237–263. Oxford: Blackwell. Google Scholar
  55. Lasersohn, Peter. 1992. Generalized conjunction and temporal modification. Linguistics and Philosophy 15: 381–410. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Lasersohn, Peter. 1999. Pragmatic halos. Language 75: 522–551. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Levin, Beth, and Malka Rappaport Hovav. 1995. Unaccusativity. Cambridge: MIT Press. Google Scholar
  58. Link, Godehard. 1998. Algebraic semantics in language and philosophy. Stanford: CSLI Publications. Google Scholar
  59. Marantz, Alec. 1984. On the nature of grammatical relations. Cambridge: MIT Press. Google Scholar
  60. Marelj, Marijana. 2002. Rules that govern the occurrences of theta-clusters in the theta-system. Theoretical Linguistics 28: 357–373. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Marelj, Marijana. 2004. Middles and argument structure across languages. PhD dissertation, University of Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands. Google Scholar
  62. Mchombo, Sam A. 1991. Reciprocalization in Chichewa: A lexical account. Linguistic Analysis 21: 3–22. Google Scholar
  63. Miyagawa, Shigeru, and Maria Babyonyshev. 2004. The EPP, unaccusativity, and the resultative constructions in Japanese. In Scientific approaches to language 3. Kanda: Center for Language Sciences, Kanda University of International Studies. Google Scholar
  64. Papangeli, Dimitra. 2004. The morphosyntax of argument realization. PhD dissertation, University of Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands. Google Scholar
  65. Parsons, Terence. 1990. Events in the semantics of English: A study in subatomic semantics. Cambridge: MIT Press. Google Scholar
  66. Pesetsky, David. 1982. Path and categories. PhD dissertation, MIT, Cambridge, MA. Google Scholar
  67. Pesetsky, David. 1995. Zero syntax: Experiencers and cascades. Cambridge: MIT Press. Google Scholar
  68. Rákosi, György. 2003. Comitative arguments in Hungarian. In Uil-OTS Yearbook, eds. Willemijn Heeren, Dimitra Papangeli, and Evangelia Vlachou, 47–57. Utrecht: Utrecht Institute of Linguistics. Google Scholar
  69. Rákosi, György. 2008. The inherently reflexive and the inherently reciprocal predicate in Hungarian: Each to their own argument structure. In Reciprocals and reflexives: Cross-linguistic and theoretical explorations, eds. Ekkehard König and Volker Gast, 411–450. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Rappaport Hovav, Malka, and Beth Levin. 1998. Morphology and lexical semantics. In The handbook of morphology, eds. Andrew Spencer and Arnold M. Zwicky, 248–271. Oxford: Blackwell. Google Scholar
  71. Reinhart, Tanya. 2002. The theta system: An overview. Theoretical Linguistics 28: 229–290. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Reinhart, Tanya, and Tal Siloni. 2005. The lexicon-syntax parameter: Reflexivization and other arity operations. Linguistic Inquiry 36: 389–436. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Rivero, Maria Luisa, and Milena Milojević Sheppard. 2003. Indefinite reflexive clitics in Slavic: Polish and Slovenian. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 21: 89–155. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Rizzi, Luigi. 1978. A restructuring rule in Italian syntax. In Recent transformational studies in European languages, ed. Samuel Jay Keyser, 113–158. Cambridge: MIT Press. Google Scholar
  75. Rizzi, Luigi. 1982. Issues in Italian syntax. Dordrecht: Foris. Google Scholar
  76. Rothstein, Susan. 2000. Secondary predication and aspectual structure. In ZAS papers in linguistics, eds. Ewald Lang, David Holsinger, Kerstin Schwabe, and Oliver Teuber, 241–264. Berlin: ZAS. Google Scholar
  77. Rubinstein, Aynat. 2007. Groups in the semantics of reciprocal verbs. In NELS 38: Proceedings of the 38th annual meeting of the North East Linguistic Society, eds. Anisa Schardl, Martin Walkow, and Muhammad Abdurrahman, 269–282. Ottawa: University of Ottawa. Google Scholar
  78. Shlonsky, Ur. 1987. Null and displaced subjects. PhD dissertation, MIT, Cambridge, MA. Google Scholar
  79. Shlonsky, Ur. 1997. Clause structure and word order in Hebrew: An essay in comparative semitic syntax. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Google Scholar
  80. Siloni, Tal. 1995. On participial relatives and complementizer D0: A case study in Hebrew and French. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 13: 445–487. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Siloni, Tal. 1997. Noun phrases and nominalizations: The syntax of DPs. Dordrecht: Kluwer. Google Scholar
  82. Siloni, Tal. 2001. Reciprocal verbs. In Proceedings of the Israel Association of Theoretical Linguistics 17, ed. Yehuda N. Falk. Jerusalem: Hebrew University of Jerusalem. http://linguistics.huji.ac.il/IATL/17/TOC.html. Google Scholar
  83. Siloni, Tal. 2002. Active lexicon. Theoretical Linguistics 28: 383–400. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Siloni, Tal. 2008. The syntax of reciprocal verbs: An overview. In Reciprocals and reflexives: Cross-linguistic and theoretical explorations, eds. Ekkehard Konig and Volker Gast, 451–498. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Steinbach, Markus. 1998. Middles in German. PhD dissertation, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany. Google Scholar
  86. Wehrli, Eric. 1986. On some properties of French clitic se. In The syntax of pronominal clitics, ed. Hagit Borer, 175–217. San Francisco: Academic Press. Google Scholar
  87. Williams, Edwin. 1981. Argument structure and morphology. The Linguistic Review 1: 81–114. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Williams, Edwin. 1991. Reciprocal scope. Linguistic Inquiry 22: 159–73. Google Scholar
  89. Zec, Draga. 1985. Objects in Serbo-Croatian. In Proceedings of the 11th annual meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society, eds. Mary Niepokuj, Mary Van Clay, Vassiliki Nikiforidou, and Deborah Feder, 358–371. Berkeley: Berkeley Linguistics Society. Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsTel Aviv UniversityTel-AvivIsrael

Personalised recommendations