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Causation in Grammatical Structures$
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Bridget Copley and Fabienne Martin

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199672073

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199672073.001.0001

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Causatives and inchoatives in the lexicon and in the syntax

Causatives and inchoatives in the lexicon and in the syntax

Evidence from Italian

Chapter:
(p.351) 13 Causatives and inchoatives in the lexicon and in the syntax
Source:
Causation in Grammatical Structures
Author(s):

Raffaella Folli

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199672073.003.0013

In this chapter it is argued that causative/inchoative alternation with verbs of change of state in Italian is composed of three sub-classes of verbs which, despite superficially homogeneous lexical semantic similarity, show profound differences in their alternating behavior. In this account, the importance of syntax in licensing structure is strongly supported: for example, class II and III verbs show no compelling evidence for lexical transitivity, hence providing confirmation that well-known analyses of causatives of this kind are essentially similar to (visibly) affixal causatives. On the other hand, class I verbs are shown to be lexically transitive/causative and hence able to appear as inchoative only when si realizes the external argument. More generally, the causative/inchoative alternation is related to a more general question regarding the status of the interaction between the lexicon and the syntactic component and the type of analysis we can offer for verb alternations.

Keywords:   causation, inchoative, Italian, transitivity, lexicon, verb alternations

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