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Structuring Sense: Volume III: Taking Form$
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Hagit Borer

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199263936

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199263936.001.0001

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Event Structure in Short Nominals—the Passive Paradigm

Event Structure in Short Nominals—the Passive Paradigm

(p.181) 5 Event Structure in Short Nominals—the Passive Paradigm
Structuring Sense: Volume III: Taking Form

Hagit Borer

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides a detailed analysis for the structure of ‘short’ AS-nominals — nominals in which the logical subject is either missing altogether or is expressed with a by-phrase. It is suggested that such cases emerge from the application of a passive within the AS-nominal, effectively suppressing or demoting the subject and promoting the object, even when it occurs post-nominally in English (e.g. ‘the destruction of the city’). Cases where the logical object occurs pre-nominally (e.g. ‘the city's destruction’) are in turn analyzed as involving an additional raising to a pre-nominal specifier. Evidence is provided for the absence of a PRO subject in such short nominals, as well as for the occurrence of short AS-nominals exactly in contexts in which passive is otherwise licit.

Keywords:   AS nominals, passive, deverbal nominalization, PRO, generic interpretation, Control Theory

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