Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 179–216 | Cite as

The status of the nominal in Persian complex predicates

Article

Abstract

The nature of preverbal nominals and their relation to the verb have been the focus of much debate in languages with a productive complex predication process. For Persian, certain analyses have argued that the bare nominals in complex predicate constructions are distinct from bare objects, while others have treated the two types of bare nominals uniformly. This paper argues that the two categories of preverbal nouns cannot receive the same analysis since they display distinct syntactic and semantic behavior: the preverbal nominals, unlike the bare object nouns, cannot be questioned, are modified differently, have different interpretations, give rise to distinct case-assignment contexts, and can co-occur with a non-specific object. The distinct properties of the two nominal categories are captured by positing distinct structural positions for these nouns. Non-specific bare nouns are internal arguments of the thematic verb, while the nominal element of the complex predicate construction is part of the verbal domain with which it combines through a process of conflation, as defined in Hale and Keyser (2002), to form a single predicate.

Keywords

Complex predicates Bare nouns Internal arguments Light verbs Persian 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Barjasteh, Darab. 1983. Morphology, syntax, and semantics of Persian compound verbs: A lexical approach. PhD diss, University of Illinois. Google Scholar
  2. Bashiri, Iraj. 1981. Persian syntax. Minneapolis: Burgess Publishing Company. Google Scholar
  3. Binnick, Robert I. 1971. Bring and come. Linguistic Inquiry 2 (2): 260–265. Google Scholar
  4. Borer, Hagit. 1994. The projection of arguments. In Occasional papers in linguistics 17, eds. Elena Benedicto and Jeffrey Runner, 19–48. Amherst: GLSA, University of Massachusetts. Google Scholar
  5. Browning, Marguerite, and Ezat Karimi. 1994. Scrambling to object position in Persian. In Studies in scrambling, eds. Norbert Corver and Henk van Riemsdijk, 61–100. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chomsky, Noam. 1981. Lectures on government and binding. Dordrecht: Foris. Google Scholar
  7. Culicover, Peter W. 2009. Natural language syntax. London: Oxford University Press. Google Scholar
  8. Dabir-Moghaddam, Mohammad. 1997. Compound verbs in Persian. Studies in the Linguistic Sciences 27 (2): 25–59. Google Scholar
  9. Dayal, Vaneeta. 2003. A semantics for pseudo incorporation. Rutgers University, Manuscript. Google Scholar
  10. Folli, Raffaella, Heidi Harley, and Simin Karimi. 2005. Determinants of event type in Persian complex predicates. Lingua 115 (10): 1365–1401. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ganjavi, Shadi. 2007. Direct objects in Persian. PhD diss, University of Southern California. Google Scholar
  12. Ghomeshi, Jila. 1997. Topics in Persian vps. Lingua 102: 133–167. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ghomeshi, Jila, and Diane Massam. 1994. Lexical/syntactic relations without projections. Linguistic Analysis 23 (3–4): 175–217. Google Scholar
  14. Goldberg, Adele. 2004. Words by default: The Persian complex predicate construction. In Linguistic mismatches, eds. Elaine Frances and Laura Michaelis. Stanford: CSLI Publications. Google Scholar
  15. Haji-Abdolhosseini, Mohammad. 2002. Event types in the generative lexicon: Implications for Persian compound verbs. In Proceedings of nls 2000, Vol. 19. Toronto Working Papers in Linguistics. Google Scholar
  16. Hale, Kenneth, and Samuel Jay Keyser. 1990. On some syntactic rules in the lexicon. Cambridge: MIT Lexicon Project. Google Scholar
  17. Hale, Kenneth, and Samuel Jay Keyser. 1993. On argument structure and the lexical expression of syntactic relations. In The view from building 20: Essays in linguistics in honor of Sylvain Bromberger, eds. Kenneth Hale and Samuel Jay Keyser, 53–110. Cambridge: MIT Press. Google Scholar
  18. Hale, Kenneth, and Samuel Jay Keyser. 2002. Prolegomenon to a theory of argument structure. Cambridge: MIT Press. Google Scholar
  19. Halle, Morris, and Alec Marantz. 1993. Distributed morphology and the pieces of inflection. In The view from building 20: Essays in linguistics in honor of Sylvain Bromberger, eds. Kenneth Hale and Samuel Jay Keyser, 53–110. Cambridge: MIT Press. Google Scholar
  20. Harley, Heidi. 1995a. If you have, you can give. In Proceedings of wccfl 15, eds. Brian Agbayani and Sze-Wing Tang. Stanford: CSLI Publications. Google Scholar
  21. Harley, Heidi. 1995b. Subjects, events and licensing. PhD diss, MIT. Google Scholar
  22. Harley, Heidi. 1996. Sase bizarre: The Japanese causative and structural case. In Proceedings of the 1995 Canadian linguistics society meeting, ed. P. Koskinen. Toronto: University of Toronto Working Papers in Linguistics. Google Scholar
  23. Holmberg, Anders. 1986. Word order and syntactic features in the Scandinavian languages and english. PhD diss, University of Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden. Google Scholar
  24. Jackendoff, Ray. 1990. Semantic structures. Cambridge: MIT Press. Google Scholar
  25. Kahnemuyipour, Arsalan. 2004. The syntax of sentential stress. PhD diss, University of Toronto. Google Scholar
  26. Kahnemuyipour, Arsalan. 2009. The syntax of sentential stress. London: Oxford University Press. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Karimi, Simin. 1989. Aspects of Persian syntax, specificity, and the theory of grammar. PhD diss, University of Washington. Google Scholar
  28. Karimi, Simin. 1996. Case and specificity: Persian revisited. Linguistic Analysis 26: 174–194. Google Scholar
  29. Karimi, Simin. 1997. Persian complex verbs: Idiomatic or compositional. Lexicology 3 (2): 273–318. Google Scholar
  30. Karimi, Simin. 2003. Word order and scrambling. Explaining linguistics. Oxford: Blackwell. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Karimi-Doostan, Gholamhossein. 2008. Separability of Persian complex predicates. Manuscript, University of Kurdistan. Google Scholar
  32. Karimi-Doostan, Mohamad-Reza. 1997. Light verb constructions in Persian. PhD diss, University of Essex. Google Scholar
  33. Khanlari, Parviz. 1986. Tarix-e zæban-e Farsi (a history of the Persian language)—3 volume set. Tehran: Nashr-e Now Publishing Company. Google Scholar
  34. Labelle, Marie. 2000. The Semantic Representation of Denominal Verbs. In Lexical specification and insertion, eds. Martin Everaert, Peter Coopmans, and Jane Grimshaw, 241–268. Amherst: John Benjamins. Google Scholar
  35. Larson, Richard. 1988. On the double object construction. Linguistic Inquiry 19: 335–391. Google Scholar
  36. Levin, Beth, and Malka Rappaport Hovav. 1995. Unaccusativity: At the syntax-lexical semantics interface. Cambridge: MIT Press. Google Scholar
  37. McCawley, James D. 1968. The role of semantics in grammar. In Universals of linguistic theory, eds. E. Bach and R. Harms. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Google Scholar
  38. Megerdoomian, Karine. 2001. Event structure and complex predicates in Persian. Canadian Journal of Linguistics/Revue Canadienne de Linguistique 46 (1/2): 97–125. Google Scholar
  39. Megerdoomian, Karine. 2002a. Aspect in complex predicates. Talk presented at the Workshop on complex predicates, particles and subevents. Univ. of Konstanz. Google Scholar
  40. Megerdoomian, Karine. 2002b. Beyond words and phrases: A unified theory of predicate composition. PhD diss, University of Southern California. Google Scholar
  41. Megerdoomian, Karine. 2008. Preverbal nominals and telicity in Persian complex predicates. Talk presented at the International conference on complex predicates in Iranian languages. Univ. of Sorbonne. Google Scholar
  42. Megerdoomian, Karine. 2009. Beyond words and phrases: A unified theory of predicate composition. Saarbrucken: VDM Verlag. Google Scholar
  43. Mohammad, Jan, and Simin Karimi. 1992. Light verbs are taken over: Complex verbs in Persian. In Proceedings of wecol 5, 195–212. Google Scholar
  44. Moyne, John A. 1970. The structure of verbal constructions in Persian. PhD diss, Harvard University. Google Scholar
  45. Onishi, Masayuki. 2000. Transitivity and valency-changing derivations in motuna. In Changing valency: Case studies in transitivity, eds. R. M. W. Dixon and Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald, 115–144. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Pantcheva, Marina. 2009. First phase syntax of Persian complex predicates: Argument structure and telicity. Journal of South Asian Linguistics 2 (1): 53–72. Google Scholar
  47. Samvelian, Pollet. 2001. Le statut syntaxique des objets nus en persan. Bulletin de la Société de Linguistique de Paris XCVI: 349–388. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Tenny, Carol. 1992. The aspectual interface hypothesis. In Lexical matters, eds. Ivan Sag and Anna Szabolcsi. Stanford: CSLI Publications. Google Scholar
  49. Travis, Lisa. 1984. Parameters and effects of word order variation. PhD diss, MIT, Cambridge, Mass. Google Scholar
  50. Travis, Lisa. 1992. Inner tense with nps: The position of number. In 1992 annual conference of the Canadian linguistics association, 329–345. Toronto: University of Toronto Working Papers in Linguistics. Google Scholar
  51. Vahedi-Langrudi, Mohammad-Mehdi. 1996. The syntax, semantics and argument structure of complex predicates in modern Farsi. PhD diss, University of Ottawa. Google Scholar
  52. Verkuyl, Henk K. 1993. A theory of aspectuality: The interaction between temporal and atemporal structure. New York: Cambridge University Press. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Webelhuth, Gert. 1992. Principles and parameters of syntactic saturation. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The MITRE CorporationMcLeanUSA

Personalised recommendations