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By Julia Herschensohn

Adopting the theoretical framework of the minimalist software, this research of syntactic obstacles on supplement configuration investigates the hyperlink among thematic exterior arguments and case. utilizing facts from pronominal, mental experiencer, and inalienable structures, it argues that either accusative and dative are structural circumstances in French and that this duality is mirrored in a parallel restrict on argument projection. Larson’s unmarried supplement speculation, which permits a greatest of 2 inner arguments, offers the theoretical justification for this concept. The trying out floor for the binary speculation is a bunch of nonthematic topic buildings concerning undative in addition to unaccusative verbs, linking, in accordance with Burzio’s generalization, case suspension and absence of an inner argument. The research of those structures and people regarding partitive case offers not just a theoretically major contribution to our figuring out of grammar, but additionally a stimulated reason behind a couple of empirical difficulties in French.

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Extra resources for Case Suspension and Binary Complement Structure in French

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C John gave flowers to Mary. (3) a John washed the clothes / the dog / the baby. b Mary arrived on time. Jackendoff (1987:378) elucidates the place of theta roles in a later generative model pointing out that "theme, agent, etc. are not primitives of semantic theory. Rather they are relational notions defined structurally over conceptual structure". The central principle of thematic theory has been the Theta Criterion holding that there is a unique relationship between arguments and theta roles (4).

Indeed, the supplemental clauses and phrases that can elaborate each major category are quintessential examples of the creative aspect of language. They often contrast with the selected arguments in explicit syntactic ways, and the contrast is categorized as the difference between an CASE AND ARGUMENT STRUCTURE 27 argument and an adjunct. For example, adjuncts resist long distance wh extraction (8a) whereas arguments allow it (8b). 4 Nevertheless there exists a hazy area of complements, particularly PPs, whose role is somewhat compromised between obligatory and optional.

Case checking requires a kind of feature harmony, that is, a matching of features assignable by the verb to those of a selected complement of the verb. Case checking also requires a linking of structural positions, the Spec VP 1 to the Spec Agr s and the Spec VP 2 to the Spec AgrO. 6) demonstrates the necessity of matching features in an example of improperly Case marked accusative subject or nominative object. These improperly marked DPs would cause the derivation to crash because their Case features would not be checked off before LF.

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